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Coping With Stressful Situations

Updated on June 9, 2015

Coping with Stress

Stress isn't anything new. Many great biblical characters had to deal with it. The prophet Elijah, at one point, even wanted to die.

Undue stress can have many negative effects on the body and can come in many different forms. As humans, life for us can become very complicated. Most are familiar with the practical ways of caring for our physical bodies:

  • Getting enough rest.

  • Proper diet.

  • Regular exercise.

  • Maintaining proper balance between work, family and spiritual activities.

Identifying Stress Sources

Stress management starts with identifying sources of stress. The actual causes of stress aren't always obvious and easy to overlook. Many of us worry about work responsibilities, getting the job done on time. Is it the job, or perhaps our tendency to put off completing tasks that lead to workplace stress?

Until we accept responsibility for creating our own stress levels we won't be able to control it. Every time we experience stress we should examine the cause and how we dealt with it.

Unfortunately, many cope with stress in unhealthy ways. Although these coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress they are not a permanent solution.

  • Smoking.

  • Excessive drinking.

  • Using pills or drugs.

  • Overeating.

  • Excessive sleeping.

  • Angry outbursts.

There are healthier ways to cope with stress. We can either change the situation or how we react to it. However, no single method works for everybody in every situation. Here are some suggestions:

  • Avoid unnecessary stress, but not situations needing be taking care of.

  • Learn how to say “no.” Taking on more responsibilities than one can comfortably handle is bound to result in undue stress. Know your limits.

  • Avoid those who continuously cause you stress.

  • Work on time management skills. Analyze your schedule, and daily tasks. Drop

  • those not truly necessary to the bottom of your to do list, or if possible eliminate them.

  • Express your feelings instead of keeping them bottled up. But do so in a respectful way

  • Be willing to compromise.

  • Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress.

  • Focus on the positive.

  • Accept the things you can’t change

  • Learn to forgive others.

  • Make time for fun.

  • Spend time with those having a positive attitude.

  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle

The dictionary defines stress as “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension,” and everyone suffers from it at one time or another. Anything causing stress is is referred to as a “stressor.” They can be either processive or systemic stressors.

  • Processive stressors. Those causing a “fight or flight” reaction.

  • Systemic stressors. Automatic physiological responses to stress.

According to recent polls the biggest sources of stress are:

  • Money.

  • Work.

  • Family responsibilities.

  • Personal and family health problems.

Stress seems to be a symptom of our obsession with performance and perfection. Our culture constantly pushes us to demand more of ourselves and reach for more. Despite the fact we frequently reach for the brass ring, a certain amount of stress is a normal part of being human. It's when it becomes overly excessive problems begin.

According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, prolonged stress is a serious health risk. Stress releases natural hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol designed to aid the body in short-term emergencies. They increase the heart rate, elevate blood pressure, boost sugar levels, and effect digestion and immune responses.

Long-term stress has been linked to depression, anxiety, diabetes, high blood pressure and, heart disease, as well as a host of other problems.

Anger and stress are perhaps the two most defining aspects of our world today. There are many ways of handling stress and anger: You can get angry, resort to drugs and alcohol, or perhaps withdraw into your own private world. Or find professional help.


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    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 2 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      I got a lot more coming, but I have over 800 published here already. Read some of them.

    • serenityjmiller profile image

      Serenity Miller 2 years ago from Brookings, SD

      Nicely done. I appreciate the emphasis on personal responsibility when it comes to developing stress in the first place. Thanks for sharing!