People can often come across stressful situations in their lives, sometimes through work, education or your personal life. While we can identify within ourselves why we are stressed, it can be hard to define. For the sake of this post, I mean our reaction to a stressor (e.g. an event/situation that has put overwhelming pressure on yourself), and how we cope with it.
To better deal with stress, we need to know why we feel this way. We’re all unique individuals, so it’s important to understand that your feelings are valid and while another may think of your stressor as something small, it doesn’t decrease its value as your perception of it and how it makes you personally feel is important. The reason why you may feel stressed about something while another doesn’t can be the result of many reasons. Firstly, your perception of the situation may differ to theirs, in the instance that you may have a lower self-esteem, a change in thought processes (e.g. depression can create an automatic negative thought process) and previous past experience may create bias on your present situation. Also, experience may come into this as this could be new and overwhelming to you, whereas another may have experienced this many times before. It’s always worth considering each other as individuals and to avoid judgement about another person as you can’t know what they’re going through – everyone has secrets, and you can never know everything about anyone.
Being stressed can make your feel irritable, impatient, and overwhelmed and could make you feel unable to enjoy yourself. You may also find yourself arguing with others more frequently, find it difficult to make decisions and feel unable to concentrate. One of the best ways to cope with stress, is to prevent it before it gets too difficult. Try to think about potential triggers for your stress and work out ways to deal with them before they escalate further. Once you’ve identified these, you can find ways to reduce the pressure on yourself. For example, you may find (like myself) that if you made a to-do list for the day, with the most important at the top then this may structure your day better to make you feel less overwhelmed. Also, it may help to set yourself smaller goals, for example, if you’re stressed about the amount of housework piling up, just do 10 minutes of work then rest, or if you’re bed needs changing, strip it now but put on clean sheets later. Allow yourself to take breaks and reward yourself once you’ve completed your tasks.
There are also ways to improve your well-being to allow you to better cope with stressors in your life. One way is to use relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, listening to music, going on a long walk, etc. You could also help yourself to see the positives in your situation, through using a gratitude journal or meeting with friends. Ensure that you’re giving yourself time to enjoy life and take part in hobbies or activities that make you feel more positive. It’s also important to remember to forgive yourself when you don’t meet your goals, it’s okay and it doesn’t decrease your value. Reaching out for support is another technique for better coping with stress, whether that’s asking friends or family to help around the house with children, housework, etc. or support at work through asking for time off work or reduced hours, then this may give you chance to feel less stressed and re-evaluate your action plan for the future in terms of what is best for you to cope better right now. This could also give you the chance to reach out to your GP for professional support, join a support group or to research online for stress management techniques.
Thank you for reading, hopefully this post was helpful for you and that you can now try some new healthy coping techniques for stress, and I hope that it will all become easier for you soon. I’m always here if you’d ever like to vent or chat, just drop me a message on social media or comment down below.
Take care, Sophie x
As always, please bear in mind that I am not a mental health professional or any other type of professional, this is a hobby for me and is for informational purposes only and shouldn’t be seen as any kind of advice. I am not liable for any consequences as a result of this information and if readers rely on any of the information on my blog, it is at their own risk. I cannot confirm that all information is correct, accurate or reliable. The information is true to the best of my knowledge, yet there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. This information isn’t intended as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have, or believe to have, a mental illness, please contact a mental health professional.
Note: This picture belongs to Wix.