Dealing with Stress: Important Aspects to Consider

We are here today to discuss an issue that affects all of us, anywhere, everyday, anytime… We are talking about stress!

When I talk about stress, I immediately think that I’m going to have a stomach pain or maybe even vomit! So when I think of stress I associate to a situation that will cause me discomfort. But that’s not all types of stress.

But that’s not all types of stress; in some situations, there is a good kind of stress like when you’re going on a date or even when you are expecting a baby. This stress is that feeling of excitement – the butterflies in your stomach and it’s called EUSTRESS.

But…like me, many of you associate the word stress to the “sneaky little bastard stress” the bad stress, that one that transforms the little butterflies in our stomach to huge dinosaurs and that will eventually kill us… or at least our stomachs. This is called DISTRESS. This type of stress may start with a concern such as money. But wait! Our marriage isn’t that great either! Oh and then there’s work ugh… and then we find ourselves in a state of so much stress that by the time we realize it has already started to have an impact in our lives – mentally or physically.

However, we do not react to stress the same way. Depending on your traits you can deal with stress in a less or more suitable way. For example, if you have a more relaxed personality, you are less prone to stress! If you are more impulsive, less patient and with a great sense of competition among other features, you can get more easily caught in stressful situations.

Social support

Social support is very important for everything in your life; trust your friends and trust your family, talk about your problems, don’t be afraid.

The locus of control

And then there is this thing called “The locus of control” which can be internal or external. The internal control locus refers to a tendency to find certain events or results caused by a personal effort. These people tend to cope with stress, to face problems and they feel more in control of their lives.

However, individuals with higher external control locus tend to attribute external factors to the events. So these are the type of people attribute their actions as the result of luck or bad luck… These people tend to withstand the stress situations instead of dealing with them.

Self-esteem

Self-esteem also has a great weight in these situations. Someone who has a higher self-esteem will probably react more hardly to stress factors, while someone with low self-esteem feels even worse within these situations.

Emotional intelligence

Then, there is emotional intelligence which is also very important because if you have the ability to deal with your emotions you will be able to protect yourself better from the effects of stress.

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Coping mechanisms

Last and very least, we have the “coping mechanisms”. It is the way that we are going to manage stress! It is how we will adapt or cope with the phenomenon. So there are good types of coping and less good types of coping! There are two types of coping responses:

  • the problem-focused
  • the emotion-focused

The problem focused, as the name implies, is a strategy that focuses on solving the problem. In this type of coping strategy, you typically do an analysis of the situation where you figure out the stress factors and how you can reduce the stress source.

Work hard – if you have an exam and you know that you will be stressed by the situation. The solution is to work hard to study study study so that you know that you are going to be ready and you won’t feel that anxious anymore.

Talk to someone – this goes for either problem focused and the emotion-focused coping. Let the people close to you help you.

In coping focused on emotions we talk about actions such as:

Have a positive thinking! Accept the tasks instead of saying “no” or think about the unfairness of life (stop crying about your life). Try to make it better!

Avoid / deny the source of stress It can help at first, but don’t compromise your life because of your fears!

Blaming others  Not a good strategy by the way.

Social support AGAIN…talk to someone!!!

But what can you do to release stress?

Here are some good coping strategies that you can use in your everyday life!

Be more positive! Do not think that everything will go wrong, or that life is so unfair… Try to see the glass half full! See what you can learn from the situations! Sadness does not pay debts!

Communicate! Don’t stay at home thinking over and over about the same thing… these negative thoughts will only annoy you even more and can make you do something that you will regret later. If necessary, take a breath and calm down, but address the problem in an assertive way.

Accept yourself and others. Come on…no one is perfect, give them a chance and more important and give you a chance.

Deal with situations! Above all learn from situations so that they don’t happen in the future anymore.

Practice these mechanisms to deal in a better way with the sources of stress in the future!

And a final advice

If you cannot find strategies to manage stress or if stress is having a major impact on your life, see a doctor or a psychologist! You will feel better.

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