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Life for almost everyone is a series of stressful events, hopefully, interspersed with periods of abatement and recovery. However, many people are operating their day to day lives under a continuous current of tension that seems to never leave them.
Cumulative stress can stem from conditions such as relationship issues, financial woes or job-related problems. This can be compounded by self-image and self-worth issues. Whether your stress is chronic or acute, the good news is that there are proven healthy ways to cope with the symptoms.
How many times have you heard the following…
Define and Express Your Stress
Precisely defining and expressing your anxieties and feelings can immediately help you begin to release the problem. Confiding in a good friend or close family member is always an option.
If talking about what is bothering you isn’t your style, what about writing it down? Many people find writing a poem or a song to be extremely cathartic.
Perhaps you are having a personal issue with someone. Another method is to write them a letter expressing your feelings.
Get everything down and don’t worry about grammar or hurting their feelings. The exercise is to simply vent as though they will read the letter but you actually never give it to them.
Keep a journal on a daily or weekly basis
It is very beneficial for many people. This method also gives you the opportunity to reflect upon other entries and see how you dealt with similar issues in the past. It is a good way to keep track of what problem-solving methods seemed most effective.
Tame Your Tension
Finding a positive way to release the tension from your system will help you let go before it has a chance to chronically impact your cells, tissues, and muscles. Spending time with people who make you laugh and feel great is always a good option.
Spending less time with negative and irritating people is just as wise. When was the last time you read a joke book? Watching funny movies can be a temporary pick-me-up and sometimes, that is all you need to clear your head and be able to look at your stressful situation with a fresh pair of eyes.
Find A New Hobby
Engaging in a new hobby can be a great way to relieve stress. By taking some time for yourself and learning a new skill, your focus can change and you may additionally meet a new diverse group of people. Spending time volunteering for something you feel passionate about, spending time with animals and getting back to nature are all great ways to alleviate stress.
The Pros and the Cons
Let’s be honest: even though you realize that stress is potentially dangerous – even life-threatening in high doses – you probably see some benefits. Maybe it feels like high levels of stress keep you motivated to achieve at a high level at work or school.
Do you worry that your work would suffer? Do you feel it’s useful for you to assume the worst (awfulizing) in situations so that you’ll always be prepared for the worst case?
Your efforts to make changes will succeed only when you realize that your reasons for changing outweigh your reasons for not changing. It’s that simple.
While these techniques might work for some people, most of my clients are dealing with chronic stress which means they need more intense help.
Over the past 11 years, I’ve realized that people need specific strategies to help with their problems. Everyone is unique and require personal and unique answers to their problems.
After all: when you lower your stress, you raise your quality of life!