How Do You Cope With Stress?
There are positive and negative ways to cope with stress. When properly managed, stress can help you complete goals and improve the quality of your life. If improperly managed, stress can lead to excessive fatigue, irritability, anger, depression, and illness.
Examine the way in which you cope with stress. Do you have healthy or unhealthy coping strategies?
Healthy coping strategies include:
ExercisingStudies have shown that engaging in some form of aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, aerobic dance, etc) for 30 minutes three times per week can reduce anxiety levels by 50 percent. Walking is a very easy low impact activity and is a great way to start. To remain active, find something you enjoy. If you're bored, cross-train or try a new sport. Consult your physician before beginning an exercise program.
Making personal time for hobbies and self-careWith the demands of work and family, it can be difficult to make time for yourself. However, taking time away to do what you enjoy will help you relax and result in a renewed sense of energy and well-being. This is especially important when you're too overtaxed and "stressed-out."
Practicing deep relaxation techniquesEngaging in deep breathing, meditation, stretching (yoga, for example), and prayer can help your relax and focus.
Balancing work/family lifeWhile you want to do everything you can to be sure you're successful in your career, make sure you are spending quality time with your family. Finding a beneficial balance will leave you happier and more fulfilled.
Using time management skillsFalling prey to procrastination can quickly leave you feeling overwhelmed. Learn ways to better manage your time. By focusing your efforts, you'll accomplish more with less stress.
Unhealthy coping strategies:
- Difficulty communicating
- Abusing alcohol or drugs
- Expressing anger
Instead of relieving stress, unhealthy coping strategies often contribute stress levels. This is because unhealthy behavior can further complicate your life, resulting in more stress.