Dealing with stressful situations.

Hello again everyone!

This post is going to be pretty much my own personal thoughts and things that I have learned from my own personal experience. Usually when I write a post I refer to my personal experiences, but also mental health recovery articles, my therapist, my pastor, and some other resources.

Everyone faces stressful situations on a daily basis, sometimes they aren’t too stressful, and other times they make us feel that we are losing our minds. Stress can be a good thing, it can motivate us to get things done! For example, when I’m given a project at school that has very lenient time requirements I find myself slacking until the night before. On the other hand, there have been times where an instructor has given me a pretty hectic project that is due two days later…that time constraint will drive me to work hard and get it done.

I know I’ve mentioned it before in a previous post, maybe even in two, but I am a visual/kinesthetic person and I LOVE lists! When I find myself faced with a stressful situation (or like usual, many stressful situations at one time) I try to make a list of everything that is playing a role in disturbing my peace. Once I have the list completed I look it over and logically decide if there is anything I can do about anything on the list. Most of the time, there isn’t anything I can do about most of them, I am simply worrying myself over something I have no control over. Learning to look at your life and figure out what you can control/change and what you can’t and then learning to let go of the things you have no control over and doing something about the rest will reduce a great deal of stress/anxiety/depression and anger that you feel. This process can be difficult at times, but it is very rewarding. I learned this in attending Al-Anon since I was a little girl, so I’ve had a lot of time to work on it! I am still making progress though, like everyone else, I am human!

So on your list, take a red highlighter and highlight the issues/situations that you have no control over/can’t change…this helps me (especially when I use a strong, bold color such as red) to allow myself to let go of these things and not let them suck the life out of me. Now you are left with the things that you can control/change. If you can’t do anything about it at that very moment, allow yourself to use positive coping skills to relax and come back to it when the time is good. For example, if it is ten at night and there is a phone call to a debt collection agency that you really need to make…start using some coping skills to self-soothe, relax, and gain some control over your anxiety/anger, etc. Watch a movie that makes you laugh or brings you comfort, set up a bunch of candles, burn some incense, turn on some soothing music and take a hot bath! If all else fails, go to bed early! Yes, taking a nap or going to bed early can be so helpful!

Once you have successfully calmed yourself down and are capable of thinking logically and calmly, brainstorm how you can handle the stressful situations in the best way possible. After taking these steps, especially the one where you allow yourself to let go of things you can’t change, you should feel a lot less stressed and be able to start handling these kinds of situations easier and faster.

~Dandi

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