All of us are affected by stress at one point or another in life but many people do not know how to cope with it. When major life stress factors come to the surface, it is important to deal with them properly to prevent you from suffering long-term emotional issues. While we all experience different events in different ways, it is generally accepted that the following are amongst the most stressful events in life:
- Death of a family member or a friend
- Divorce or separation
- Moving house
- Serious illness or injury
- Loss of a job
It can seem that stress is purely an emotional problem that exists only in your mind. But, particularly when coping with life’s most stressful situations, stress may become a physical problem too.
Here, we look at some of the ways that you can begin to deal with some of the most stressful events in life.
Take immediate action
Your body naturally goes into fight or flight mode and is ready to move, so get physically moving. That might be running on the spot, punching the air or a pillow, or spending some time stretching. Just a minute or so should be enough to steady some of the physical symptoms of stress and bring you back to a baseline level.
Take some deep breaths
It is cliched, sure, but taking a few deep breaths is one of the best things that you can do in an immediate stressful situation. It fills your body with oxygen, allowing clarity of thought and calming you down, both of which will help you with the next steps.
Make a plan
Pretty much all stressful situations can be made a little easier by having some sort of plan in mind. It might be a treatment plan if you are diagnosed with an illness, finding skilled personal injury attorneys ready to serve you if you have been hurt, or figuring your legal rights and responsibilities when it comes to the end of a relationship or the loss of a job. In the case of a death, often planning a funeral can be somewhat helpful, in the early days at least.
Talk to others
Bottling up your emotions is detrimental to almost everyone’s mental and physical health. We are getting better, but as a society, we are still very reluctant to talk about how we feel during and after stressful events for fear of being judged. Don’t! If you do not have a friend or family member that you can trust to turn to, look at reaching out to a professional. Some will help you come up with ways to deal with the events, others will simply be an understanding ear, but either way, it almost always helps.
It’s ok to be happy
Sometimes, in the middle of a stressful event, an unexpected moment of joy comes up, and we feel guilty for smiling or laughing or feeling happy, but don’t. Eventually, those moments will begin to become more regular and the stress will feel less so.
Can you relate to an of these stressful events? How do you handle stress? Are you proactive about it and want to share your tips? Tell me all about it in the comments. Let’s chat.
Until our next rendezvous…