When you hear the word stress or see it written before you, you know what it is, right? However, if you were to define it, you would probably find that your response differs from thousands of others. The official definition of stress, as per the National Institutes of Health is “how the brain and body respond to any demands.” The response is your body’s defense.
Note: the following post contains affiliate links. This means that if you choose to purchase something through one of the links, we may receive a small commission without additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting us.
Perhaps one of the most complicated results of stress is learning how to manage it and cope with it in healthy ways. Turning to drugs, alcohol, or food will only provide temporary relief and fuel other health issues, so it’s important that you learn methods of coping with chronic stress.
Are you a glass-half-full type of person? Or, do you see the glass as half empty? As it turns out your proclivity for optimism or pessimism might just be having an impact on your quality of life.
The optimistic among us are far more proficient in dealing with life’s stressful situations, which reduces how stress affects them.
Norman Vincent Peale wrote a classic book entitled The Power of Positive Thinking. This book has been helping people for many years and is still a go-to resource.
Managing Your Emotional Response
It’s impossible to eliminate every stressor in your life, but what you can do is develop positive coping strategies to deal with the stress that you can’t get rid of.
Remember this – the stress is your body’s response to something, not the something in and of itself. This should make it easier to identify positive coping strategies. It’s all about managing your response to the stress you experience, rather than trying to micromanage the stress that you experience.
Melanie Greenburg has written a book entitled The Stress-Proof Brain: Master Your Emotional Response to Stress Using Mindfulness and Neuroplasticity. It provides tools to help you learn how to combat your stress.
A key skill in managing stress is managing time; this means prioritizing your schedule and responsibilities, using your time wisely and making sure there is time for rest and relaxation.
Do you find it difficult to say no to anyone who asks you for help, or asks a favor of you? This type of behavior could be fueling your stress directly because every time you say yes, something else is impacted. It always results in more stress, so you need to learn how to manage your time effectively and take time for yourself without feeling guilty.
Jocelyn K. Glei has a book about time management that you might find interesting. Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind is an Amazon bestseller.
It might not be easy to strike a balance between work, home, and relaxation, but it’s a necessity if you want to live a stress-free life.
This can be even more complicated for those who are caring for aging relatives, dealing with relationship strife, or experiencing financial problems. These make it more difficult to focus on work.
Whether your problem is that you focus on work too much (or not enough), when you learn how to strike a balance it will mitigate your stress and its harmful effects.
Need more tips for finding balance. Check out Life Matters: Creating a Dynamic Balance of Work, Family, Time, & Money by A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca R. Merrill.
There are a variety of techniques for meditation, which means you are more than likely able to find one that makes you feel comfortable. It not only helps to calm your racing mind, but it also relieves stress.
It allows you to focus your attention on breathing (or a calming image) and just be still and at peace with yourself.
Rogan Jones has a 3-in-1 box set of meditation books which include Mindfulness: Meditation for Beginners, Yoga: Beginner’s Guide, and Smoothies (making healthy smoothies to improve health).
Or, if you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can watch Guided Meditation for Relaxation, Stress Relief, and Anxiety with Katrina Repman.
Stay The Course
If you have previously turned to unhealthy coping methods, don’t lose hope if you slip up. It isn’t the end of the world if you pick up a candy bar or have a drink, but don’t allow them to creep back in as a habit. Instead, focus on how you can regain control.
Need help breaking free of a habit. Pema Chodron has written a book, Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears.
Your social network provides support through the most stressful times. It isn’t a support group where you share your problems with others struggling with the same thing. It’s your friends and family. Simple things like a chat on the phone, grabbing coffee with a friend, or going out to the movies with your family bolster your personal relationships and offers respite when you’re under stress. Yes, some family and friends might not be the type to be around in stressful situations, but most will be more than happy to help you.
It’s easy to see why people slip into unhealthy ways. These are often easier and quicker fixes, but, there are plenty of ways you can cope with your chronic stress issues in a healthy manner. It may take a bit of effort, but it is far more effective than the unhealthy alternatives. Take back your health. Try implementing one or all of the methods of coping with chronic stress.