Stress is a normal part of life. We all feel worried, tense, or overwhelmed at times, especially when dealing with challenging situations. But if you let that stress build up without any relief, it can become crippling. That’s why it’s so important to develop your own personal strategy for coping with stress. When you have healthy coping mechanisms in place, you’ll be better equipped to manage the stress you encounter, which can help to prevent issues with anxiety from developing. Use these tips to make sure you know exactly what to do whenever you experience stressful situations.
- Identify Your Stressors
What are the sources of stress in your life? Recognizing what triggers you to feel stressed is the first step in managing it. These stressors are sometimes unavoidable. For example, it’s almost impossible not to feel some level of stress when dealing with difficult times, like getting divorced or moving to a new place. However, that type of stress will eventually pass. Instead of focusing on these major life events, look for the ongoing stressors in your life. If you can figure out how to make small adjustments to reduce that stress, you can feel better on a daily basis.
For example, maybe you feel like mornings are always rushed and hectic. Can you get up earlier to give yourself more time to get ready? Could you switch to showering the night before or preparing your breakfast in advance so you have one less thing to do? Instead of just assuming your mornings will always be hectic, take a proactive approach to see if you can make them less stressful.
- Maintain a Positive Attitude
It’s easy to get sucked into a negative mood when you’re feeling stressed out. Your ability to adapt in a difficult time can greatly affect the level of worry and anxiety that you feel. Here are a few ways to maintain a positive outlook during stressful times:
- Put things in perspective. Taking a big-picture approach helps to remind you that many of your worries are inconsequential in the long run. If it won’t matter in a month, or in a year, don’t spend excessive energy worrying about it.
- Look for the silver lining. For example, you might be overwhelmed by a busy social schedule, but that means you have plenty of loved ones who want to spend time with you. Strive to see the positive in stressful situations.
- Don’t aim for perfection. Let go of the idea that you can make everything “perfect.” This sets you up for disappointment. Try not to be so hard on yourself. Instead, set realistic goals and work on enjoying things as they are, not as you idealized them to be.
- Make gratitude a priority. What are you thankful for? Reminding yourself of these things can be a great way to let those small worries slip away.
- Move Your Body
While working on your outlook is a great mental activity, you may also want something more tangible when it comes to relieving stress. Fortunately, there’s an incredibly easy and natural way to ease your tension and anxiety: exercise.
Physical activity has been proven to relieve stress by reducing the levels of stress hormones in the body. At the same time, it increases the production of endorphins, which helps to naturally elevate your mood. In a more general sense, exercising can also help you to “get out of your head” and enjoy a fun activity that takes your mind off of the stressors you’re dealing with. Any type of physical activity can help, so try out some different methods of exercise (jogging, hiking, weightlifting, fitness classes, sports, etc.) to see what works best for you.
- Create a Stress Management Toolkit
Another way to cope with stress is to create a toolkit you can utilize whenever you need relief from your worries. This can be something as simple as a shoebox filled with a variety of items that help to relieve your stress and provide you with a sense of peace. Things you may want to add to the kit include:
- A journal where you can write down your feelings
- Your favorite movie or TV show on DVD
- Beloved books or cards and notes from your loved ones
- Photos that bring back fond memories
- Herbal tea or essential oils that provide calming effects
- A scented candle you can light for a yoga or meditation session
- A stuffed animal, fidget toy or stress relief ball
- Build Strong Relationships
You don’t always have to deal with stress on your own. In fact, one of the best ways to cope with stress is to lean on your network of close friends and family members. These are people who genuinely care about you and want to be a source of support when you need it. Plus, social interactions with others can boost your mental outlook.
Having a social support network is strongly recommended by experts since studies have shown that being socially isolated or lonely leads to a greater risk for poor mental health. That’s why it’s so important to build and maintain strong relationships in your own network. There are a number of ways to do this, including:
- Schedule regular meetups or phone calls with friends.
- Volunteer for a cause you care about.
- Join a club or an online group.
- Sign up for a class or workshop.
- Plan visits to see family and friends who live far away.
- Avoid Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
Now that you know about all the best ways to deal with stress, it’s also important to identify the coping strategies which can have negative impacts on your life. During difficult times, it can be tempting to fall into these types of habits, such as drinking, overeating, oversleeping, or withdrawing socially. Feelings of tension and irritation might lead you to take your stress out on other people.
If you find yourself unable to break out of these unhealthy habits, you may want to reach out to a healthcare professional for help. Some of these actions may be a sign of depression, so talk to your doctor to find out if talk therapy, medication, or alternative treatments like Ketamine Infusion Therapy can help you find relief.
Although stress is unavoidable, these tips can help you find healthy ways to cope with it. If you need help getting your stress under control, don’t hesitate to contact us at Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles at 310-363-7358 to find out if Ketamine Therapy may be right for you.