Not handling your stress can create even more problems for you down the road. Whether you are avoiding it because you think that it will go away and that no one care, nobody seems concerned or you are trying to handle it but can’t seem to tame it, use this article to help you confront, express, and manage your stress.
“When we are in distress and lack feelings of safety, our thinking brain is hijacked by our emotional limbic system and we move into primitive drives to fight or flight,” says Casey Radle, LPC.
- Recognize and Evaluate the Sources of Your Stress
You won’t be able to handle your stress if you don’t know where it is stemming from. Take a look at your life and make a list of all of the things that are contributing to the way that you are feeling. Now, look at your list. Is there anything on that list that seems easily manageable? Is there anything on that list that may be a little more difficult to resolve? Make another list but this time make it a list of resolutions for each of the areas in your life that are causing you stress. You will now have a list of your stressors and a list of actions that you can take to help eliminate or lessen the stress in your life.
- Confront Your Stress
Whether the stress in your life is caused by a person, place, or thing, confront it. Tell that stressor that it will no longer have control over you and make an effort to follow through on that statement. Do whatever you have to do to make yourself feel less overwhelmed. If it is a person, have a long talk with them about your feelings. If it is a place, try your best to stay away from it or find a way to remain relaxed in it while you must be there. If it is an object, remove it from your life or simplify it to the point where it won’t be able to stress you out. Every good change starts with confrontation.
Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC says “Replace negative people with more positive ones. They will help lift you up even when times are tough.”
- Express Yourself
You’re not going to be able to change your stress levels with the snap of your fingers. The changes that you will make to relieve your stress will take time and in the meantime, you will need to learn how to handle your stress on your own. Find a hobby that helps you to express yourself. Maybe you’re someone who likes to paint. Maybe you’re someone who likes to dance. Whatever it may be, find that outlet and use it to get those feelings of overwhelm, anger, and exhaustion out of your system. You may even feel good enough to tackle the world after you’re done.
- Collect Yourself and Task Things Out
All of our stressors may be different but the sources of stress are often the same. You are probably having a difficult time because you are trying to handle too much at once. Take time to breathe and to figure out a way to make everything that you have to do less difficult. Instead of asking yourself to do everything at once, spread out of all your difficult tasks. If you know that you have 10 things to do that are going to severely stress you out, plan on doing them on different days rather than trying to take it all on in a single day. If you learn how to manage your stress, you will be able to deal with your stress.
It will be difficult to try to find solutions to your stress but it is a much better way of handling it than hoping it will go away and ignoring it. Utilize these tips to help you address your stress and find a way to make it much more manageable. You can also try to seek therapy. According to Rhonda Williams, Ed.D., LPC, NCC “Personal counseling, nurturing your own emotional self, evaluating personal relationships, engaging in stress management and positive recreational activities offers value in burnout prevention as well.”