Be realistic: Set limits. Say no to extra responsibility or activities if feeling overwhelmed. Stop being a superhero: No one is perfect so don’t expect that from yourself or others. What really needs to get done? Is a deadline realistic? Ask for help when needed. Take one thing at a time: When feeling overwhelmed by many tasks, pick one urgent task. Complete one task before moving onto another. Be flexible: Arguments can lead to more stress. Try to come to an understanding with others. They will usually meet you half way. Go easy on the criticism: Expectations for self and others can be too high, setting people up to fail. Share feelings: Stay in touch with people! Friends can provide a sounding board, show support and provide guidance. Other coping strategies include: Journal writing, art therapy, humor, behavior modification, creative problem solving, time management, social/support groups, spiritual support, cognitive restructuring, choice theory, etc.
Exercise: Helps to decrease stress with the release of endorphins. By having this analgesic effect on the body, endorphin release results in a state of euphoria. In addition to reducing pain this also aids in the reduction of stress. Due to these effects, endorphins are known as the body’s “natural painkillers”. Meditation: Quiet reflection and thinking about positive things or nothing at all can help relieve stress. Massage: An increasing number of research studies show massage reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles, improves range of motion, and increases endorphins (enhancing medical treatment). Progressive muscle relaxation: Is an example of a deep relaxation technique that can be used to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, insomnia, and certain types of chronic pain. Based upon the simple premise of tensing or tightening one muscle group at a time, followed by a release of the tension, this form of relaxation is used by physicians (in combination with standard therapies) for a number of conditions including headaches, cancer pain, high blood pressure, and digestive disturbances.
Other Relaxation Techniques
- Diaphragmatic Breathing
- Mental Imagery
- Music Therapy
Seek help when necessary
If someone is under more stress than just dealing with a passing difficulty, it may be helpful to talk with a medical professional, spiritual advisor, counseling and mental health staff, or employee assistance professional.