How to Effectively Cope With Emotional Stress
In This Article
You’ve heard people say that an idle mind is the devil’s playground. They forgot to mention that stress plays along too. Stress affects all people because stressors are everywhere. They can be face, the nosy fellow sitting right next to a person’s office desk, a two-figure bank account or the country’s declining economic standing. Everyone is affected but not everyone suffers from it because some people know how to effectively manage and cope up with the stressors they encounter.
Stress is called that way and not classified as injury, damage or sickness because there is no physical form for it. It’s all in the mind. It has no definite form and it just depends on a person’s coping mechanism. Its sources might not be controllable but you have the definite control over it.
However, before successfully coping up with emotional stress, you should first understand the stages of stress management, how these stages affect humans and what approaches are needed for each stage. Here are the answers if you often ask yourself, “How should I cope with emotional stress?”.
1. Identifying the sources of stress.
The source might be really existing or not. Knowing your enemy is the first stage of devising a plan to beat it. If it exists, someone or something might be causing your distress, and you need to know what that is before making a move, like how to avoid it or stop it. If there is no source at all, perhaps you are just over thinking things that are actually normal.
Most often than not, though, the source of your stress will not go away because it is a regular part of your life, like a job, family member or friend, your own appearance or the country you live in. It’s hard to change them especially when there are so many things at stake. Trying to change them just to get over the stress may mean sacrificing a crucial part of your life, which will just create a new string of stresses, striking you back with a vengeance.
When there is no way to avoid the source, then the only option left is to accept it and make room for stress somewhere in your mind, leave it there and just go with your life.
It will help big-time if you can realize that some sources of your emotional stress are also the sources of your happiness, like a distressing boss who pays you huge salary, a nagging wife who takes care of you more than anybody else does or an unstable country that also gives you a lot of opportunities to live up your dreams.
2. Identifying false solutions.
Money is one of the first resorts people run to in time of distressing situation. This may actually work in providing things that give comfort to you, like seeing a movie in 3D, bingeing on your ultimate comfort food or buying new clothes to feel worthy of everyone’s attention. Money is not a solution but it sure handles stress well when managed with utmost caring.
The real problem arises when people start to overestimate the power of greenback and count everything on it. Along the way, when money fails to provide permanent solution or eliminate the source (which it will sooner or later), high expectations will begin to crumble and the illusionary world will start to shatter, giving more reasons to get stressed out in the process. Money can’t buy everything.
There is a big difference between solving and managing stress. You should learn how to separate things that do offer permanent solutions from those that only help you in holding the problem at bay.
3. Identifying the effects.
Emotional stress remains harmless unless it gets out of control. When it does, the physical body receives the pang in two ways: through conscious choices and involuntary actions.
Conscious choices include not wanting to workout (as opposed to it being the coping mechanism of many), which will compromise your fitness; avoiding going out of the house, which will deprive you of sunlight and fresh air; and even eating too much to compensate for the uncomfortable and annoying feeling you experience, which will increase your weight (resulting to other health complications in the process).
Involuntary actions include loss of appetite, which will lead to serious health problems; baldness directly caused by too much emotional stress; stomach upsets and hyperventilation due to high level of cortisol, a hormone produced by the body in times of great stress; and worst, nervous breakdown.
These physical effects serve as the alarm that things are getting out of hand and dangerously serious. Knowing these signs should prompt you to do something about the situation, like finding things that will lighten up your mood.
4. Identifying yourself.
It only means strengthening your personality, stabilizing your mind and fortifying your emotions, which will give you higher tolerance to stress levels. High self-esteem aids in managing emotional stress because it widens a person’s ability, patience and emotional room to absorb it. Without believing that you do have the capacity to cope up with it, all the efforts in managing stress will just be for nothing.
Any emotional problem or imbalance will explode right in front of your face without a firm spirit to shield you. Doing meditations, relaxing exercises, yoga or having therapeutic massage are just some ways said to strengthen your spiritual core and mind—the ultimate weapons you have against stress.