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reduce stress | Terezia Farkas | depression help | Beliefnet

 

Stress comes from both the good and the bad things that happen to us. If we didn’t feel any stress, we wouldn’t be alive!
Stress may feel overwhelming at times, but there are many strategies to help you take control.

What is stress?

Stress is your body’s response to a real or perceived threat. Stress is meant to get you ready for some kind of action to get you out of danger.

Most of the threats you face aren’t something you can fight or run away from. Those threats are usually problems that you have to work through.

Unhelpful stress

Stress is unhelpful when it makes you feel overwhelmed or feeling like you can’t possibly fix the problem. In these cases, you avoid dealing with the original problem altogether. That makes the problem worse. It can be hard to concentrate, make decisions, or feel confident. Over time stress can have a big impact on your health.

What can I do about it?

  • Identify the problem. Is your job, school, a relationship with someone, or worries about money causing stress? Are unimportant, surface problems hiding deeper problems? Once you know what the real problem is you can do something about it.
  • Solve problems as they come up. What can you do? What are possible outcomes? Would that be worse or better than doing nothing? Remember, sometimes solving a problem means doing the best you can even if it isn’t perfect. Or ask for help. Once you’ve decided on a solution, divide the steps into manageable pieces and work on one piece at a time.
  • Talk about your problems. Talk is important. You’ll find it helps to talk about your stress. Loved ones might not realize that you’re having a tough time. Once they understand, they can help in two different ways. First, they can listen. Second, they can come up with ideas to help you solve or deal with your problems.
  • Learn to say NO. Stress comes when there are too many things going on. Learn to say no. It’s a real skill that takes practice. But once mastered, you wonder why it took you so long to learn the skill.
  • Learn helpful thinking strategies. How you think about situations affects the way you respond to them. Unhelpful thoughts, like believing that everything must be perfect or expecting the worst outcome, makes problems seem bigger than they really are.
  • Learn stress management. There’s lots of useful books, websites, and courses to help you cope with stress. There’s also counsellors who specialize in stress management.
  • Release the inner you. Yoga, meditation, mindfulness, prayer, or breathing exercises can help quiet your mind. They can help you look at problems from a calmer, more balanced point of view.

Can I prevent stress?

Stress is part of being human. No one can eliminate stress completely from their life. Or keep stress from ever happening in the future. The goal of learning to manage stress is to help you bounce back from problems and keep your wellness intact. All of the above strategies can help you control stress. They also help you feel in control, which again helps manage stress.

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