How to Cope with stress

Stress happens to all of us. It affects the young child as well as the older adult. No one is immune from stress. But when stress begins to interfere in your relationships, your sleeping patterns, your work performance and your overall health then its time to seriously address the problem. All of us have our own ways of coping when we get stressed but are these ways healthy? This is the question you must ask yourself. If you’ve become consciously aware of how stress is affecting you then here are some healthy ways to address it:

Exercise Daily
Exercise has been known to not only relieve stress but also prevent it. Find an activity that you enjoy doing a few times a week and make it into a habit. Whether its walking, jogging or playing a sport, exercise and other physical activities produce endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.

Practice Some Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation can help to relieve the symptoms of stress. It can help you calm down and take a step back from a stressful situation. Find a comfy chair which supports your head or lie on the floor or bed. Place your arms on the chair arms, or flat on the floor or bed, a little bit away from the side of your body with the palms up. If you’re lying down, stretch out your legs, keeping them hip-width apart or slightly wider. If you’re sitting in a chair, don’t cross your legs.
Relaxation techniques usually start with focusing on your breathing. The way to do it is to breathe in and out slowly and in a regular rhythm as this will help you to calm down. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes every day.

Talk to a Friend
There’s nothing like having a sounding board when you just need to vent. Having a friend to just sit and listen to you is very therapeutic. This can also help you put things into perspective. Friends can also help you look at things in a different light and give you some good advice.

Challenge the Negative Self-Talk
Stress can cause us to have a negative self-dialogue. When we start to ruminate about things then we’re on a downward spiral into negativity. There are so many that struggle with this problem but the key to overcoming it is awareness. Begin by catching the negative thoughts that enter your head and challenging them. Doing this enables you to feel better and to respond to situations in a more helpful way.

Manage Your Anger
There’s nothing wrong with getting angry. It’s just how you address it. Anger is a normal human emotion that’s often misunderstood. The reason is because it’s a secondary emotion in that there’s something beneath the surface that’s the real problem. Talk to someone or distract yourself by doing something. Yell into your pillow then punch it a few times but don’t ever hold that anger in. Always find a health way to release it.

Let Go and Let God
The Serenity prayer says, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference”. There are some stressors we can change, but there are some we cant and we just have to let go of them. After you’ve tried all avenues of dealing with the stressor be it a person or a situation and there’s no other solution then you just need let go and move on.

See a Therapist
If your stress is becoming more than what you can handle and it’s affecting your health in a negative way then please see a therapist. There are some stressors that require professional help to address. A qualified therapist will offer you the opportunity to air your concerns in a confidential safe environment. There are no hopeless situations and there are solutions to all problems. Don’t ever have any misgivings about seeking a therapist. It can possibly be the best option.

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