No matter who we are, we’re all going to encounter stress throughout our lifetimes. Work, school, busy schedules…sometimes it seems impossible to escape.
While some stress can be good, being exposed to too much of it for prolonged periods of time can make people turn to unhealthy coping strategies. Withdrawing from friends and family, over-or under-sleeping, and relying on drugs and alcohol are examples of harmful ways to deal with stress. Another common method of managing high-stress levels is eating too much or too little – a method that may provide short-term comfort, but can lead to serious long-term effects like eating disorders.
Learning to manage stress in a healthy and positive way can help to avoid negative coping techniques.
Certain sources of stress are unavoidable, no matter what you do. Rather than fighting against something you can’t change, try to accept things as they are and let go. This is difficult to do, so in cases like this remember the importance of:
A healthy body is a healthy mind. Increase your ability to cope with the stress factors around you by keeping your body strong. Make sure you are:
There are some stressors in life that won’t, and can’t, go away. But, there is a surprising amount of them that can be eliminated. Cut down on the things that cause you stress by:
As Charles Swindoll said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” If you find yourself in a stressful predicament, figure out how you can appropriately respond to the situation to get through it. Then once it’s past you, figure out what can be done to ensure the same situation doesn’t occur again. Although this won’t work for every scenario, many situations can be avoided by:
It’s a simple solution, but one that people don’t do enough. Be mindful to not get so wrapped up in the daily duties that you forget to give yourself some attention and participate in activities you enjoy – even a half-hour a day can make a difference. Do your best to:
Go ahead and practice some of these ideas when stress starts to creep into your life. And may we suggest you start with #5? Take some time today to engage in an activity that makes you happy!
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