Stress can be a tiring and debilitating experience, especially when we don’t know how to cope with it, or even worse, when we use coping strategies that in the long-run, do us more harm than good. Examples may include excessive shopping, gambling, or drugs/alcohol. If you experience stress and are interested in learning three ways that could help with managing it, feel free to read my useful tips:
With stress come strong emotions that may include anger, frustration, sadness, or guilt. When we feel stressed we often experience more than one emotion at a time, and what often creates more stress and more strong emotions is when we don’t know exactly what is bothering us. Therefore, I highly encourage you to first determine the source of this stress. Then move on to Tip 2.
When we feel stressed having the ability to change the situation can be very empowering and stress relieving. For example, having the courage to leave a job that you don’t like, or learning assertiveness skills in order to express your needs better can be highly therapeutic. However, some situations are out of your control, such as deadlines, bills, and life demands. If your situation can be changed, ask yourself “What is one tiny step that I can take today that will move me closer toward this change?” If your situation cannot be changed, ask yourself “What can I do to make peace with the fact that I cannot change this situation?” Strategies may include yoga, talking to a friend or therapist, reading a book, or watching your favorite movie.
Although stress is an unpleasant experience, using the serenity prayer can help make an unpleasant experience less unpleasant. The serenity prayer is as follows: “May I have the courage to accept the things I cannot change, have the courage to change the things I can change, and have the wisdom to know the difference.” Memorizing the prayer or keeping a copy of this prayer on you provides you with a useful tool that you can use when you need it most. Simply reading this prayer to yourself silently or out loud may help you calm down and struggle less with factors that are out of your control.