People who are emotionally strong or those who have developed healthy coping mechanisms use a variety of techniques to keep their stress in check. Here are nine ways to keep stress from taking control of your life:
1. Keep your problems in perspective
Stress has a tendency to build up over time, causes frustration negative emotions may exaggerated. However, those who are mentally strong understand that stressful events are just a natural part of life and don’t dwell on them. To keep stress in perspective, try reframing your negative thoughts into something more accurate.
2. Reassure yourself
Among the key characteristics of people with healthy coping skills are self-assurance and self-confidence, which help people work with stress. Where a person who is typically negative might say to themselves, “I can’t handle one more problem, a mentally healthy person will tell themselves “I can deal with stress, and I’ll be OK no matter what happens.”
3. Focus on what you can control
There are some things in life that you simply cannot control, and for some, facing that simple fact can be stressful. However, people with well-developed coping skills know when something is their responsibility. They have a tendency to jump into action knowing when they can address or prevent problems and they don’t waste time ruminating on the things they can control.
4. Be aware of what causes stress in your life
A stressor is something that may cause us to feel the need to react and may trigger our body’s stress response system. Learning to identifying stressors in your life is the first step in effectively managing them.
People with well-defined coping mechanisms are aware of their stressors. They know when they feel stress and they know the warning signs that they are becoming stressed out. Self-awareness is the key to regulating your activities and making adjustments in your lifestyle so you can manage stress more effectively.
5. Learn to establish healthy boundaries
People without boundaries give away their power to those who infringe on their emotional or physical boundaries. By being more assertive and establishing strong healthy boundaries, people in your life have less of a chance to have a negative effect on your emotions.
When you are responsible for your own actions, you don’t blame others for infringing on your time or space. To help establish healthy boundaries, speak up when needed and take responsibility for getting your own needs met.
6. Spend more time with positive people
Part of dealing with stress effectively is social support. People with strong coping skills seek out positive people. When you surround yourself with people who are always projecting negative thoughts they will start to have an impact on your outlook on life. However, the same can be said when you surround yourself with people who are optimistic.
7. Prioritize your tasks
One of your most valuable resources is time and those who are mentally strong realize this. They do not hesitate to eliminate activities that constantly bring them down and they take the time to prioritize their tasks so their focus is on getting to the tasks that are most important to them.
8. Don’t ever forget to have fun
One of the best ways to deal with stress is to be involved in fun activities. Get involved in a hobby, watch a movie you really enjoy, hang out with positive friends, it can be almost anything you enjoy doing. As long as it improves the way you feel or relaxes you it will help. People who have healthy coping skills take time to relax and enjoy life.
9. Use healthy coping mechanisms
There is usually a right way and a wrong way to handle most situations. When dealing with stress, using drugs, alcohol, or food would be the wrong way. Those things will not change the way you feel for long and ultimately have their own negative consequences which leads to more stress. People who are emotionally resilient instead, use healthy coping skills like journaling, yoga, meditation, or walking.
Leading a healthy lifestyle is key. Stick to the basics for starters; get enough sleep, eat more healthy food, and get involved in regular physical exercise that will boost both your mind and your body.
For more information about stress please feel free to visit the following resources.
National Institute of Mental Health