One of the most common mental health problems is stress. There are many types of stress, which can arise from various sources. Stress affects not only your mental health but your physical health as well. You should find effective ways of dealing with the stress within the shortest time possible, to avoid all the effects of stress. There are varieties of techniques that can be used to deal with stress. A specific technique may prove to be effective in some individuals and fail to work on others. This means that you have to analyze your particular situation well and choose a stress management technique that will work best for you. The steps that you can use to help you with that are highlighted below.
How to deal with stress
Identify your source of stress
As mentioned earlier, stress can arise from a variety of causes. Examples include relationship issues, work related issues, the death of a loved one, or financial problems among many others. You need to be very careful when identifying your source of stress as some may not be quite apparent, especially when it involves behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. An example is thinking that tight deadline pressure is your cause of stress while the actual cause is your procrastination behavior. Get the true source of your stress by analyzing your attitude, habits, and excuses.
Avoid unhealthy coping strategies
Facing a stressful situation may require you to find a coping strategy. However, some of the stress coping strategies may be unhealthy, and probably even worsen the situation. Some examples of unhealthy coping strategies are consuming excessive alcohol, smoking, using relaxation pills, bingeing on junk foods, zoning out, oversleeping, withdrawing from friends, and taking out stress on others. Analyze your coping strategy to ensure that it is healthy and productive.
Try the 4 A’s
There are some situations where you can predict when stress will occur. Examples include a scheduled meeting with your boss or a pending exam. When a stressor is that predictable, you get the option of changing your reaction or the situation. The four A’s can help you decide what to do. The 4 A’s stand for Avoid, Alter, Adapt and Accept. You can avoid any stress that is unnecessary by simply saying no, avoiding the people that cause you to stress, changing your to-do-list, etc. Altering the situation involves doing what you can to change various outcomes. Adapt may require you to reframe problems and adjust your standards. The last A, which is to accept, includes forgiving, looking for the upside, and sharing feelings.