Dealing with Stress

Stress is an unavoidable result of modern living. Although it may not be possible to avoid stress, here are some techniques that can help you deal with it more effectively: 

  1. Escape for a while. Retreat before you lose control, to allow time for you and the others who are involved to calm down. You'll be in a better position to deal more constructively with the problem after you cool down.
  2. Talk it out. Speaking with someone who is a good listener can help you to release built up emotions, to see the situation more accurately and to clear your mind for sensible action. It also helps you to feel that you're not fighting the battle alone.
  3. Go easy with the criticism. Instead of being critical of the other person's mistakes, search out the good points and help the person to develop them.
  4. Give others a break. Giving others a break can make things easier for you. Competition can be dangerous-physically and emotionally. If you stop being a threat to others, they are likely to stop being a threat to you.
  5. Occasionally give in. Be willing to compromise. If you give in, you'll find others will too.
  6. Make yourself available. Instead of feeling left out and rejected while you wait for someone else to make the first move, sometimes make the first move yourself.
  7. Do something for others. This will take your mind off yourself and can take the steam out of your own worries. It also creates the satisfaction of having helped someone else.
  8. Work off your anger. Do something constructive with your pent-up energy, instead of lashing out at the person who has provoked you. Things that can help are: taking a walk, playing tennis or other sports, working in the yard, or working on a hobby.
  9. Take one thing at a time. When you're feeling tense, an ordinary workload may appear overwhelming. Realize the situation is temporary. Make a list of things that must be done and rank them in order of importance. Tackle them one at a time and then cross each thing you've accomplished off the list.
  10. Avoid the "Super-Human" impulse. If you strive for perfection in everything, you'll inevitably end up in a constant state of worry, anxiety, and failure. Give yourself a break and allow yourself to be human.
  11. Schedule your recreation. For those who drive themselves so hard that they don't allow time for recreation, it helps to schedule definite hours for having fun. It's especially important to schedule activities that you can completely throw yourself into.
  12. Take action. Eliminate or change stressful situations by saying no more often and becoming more assertive in meeting your needs.
  13. Look for the humor around you. Try to see the amusing side of the things that happen in every day life. When you see something that tickles your funny bone, jot it down. This will help you to capture the moment, so you can relive it later.
  14. Slowly take several deep breaths. Fill your lungs completely and gradually let the air out until your lungs are empty.
  15. Close your eyes and remember a wonderful experience you've had. Let the feelings you experienced wash over you again.Sometimes an expert can be helpful. If you're still feeling stressed after trying the suggestions listed above, then speaking with a counselor may be beneficial. Counseling can help people to recognize and change behavior patterns that stand in the way of successful stress management.
 

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