Promoting positive change
Promoting positive change

Handling Stress During Difficult Events

It is in our nature to respond to a potential threat.  However, this ability can often alert us in an unhelpful way.  Here are a few things to consider to manage stressful events:


  • Maintain routines
    • ​Exercise
      • begin, or continue normal schedule or replace with another physical activity.
    • Regular meals
      • ​eat at times you normal eat
      • continue to eat healthy meals 
      • avoid increasing alcohol intake
    • Activity Planning 
      • Continue to plan projects, talking with friends (even if it means by phone or video), playing video games with family, or over web with friends, pot or plant flowers...
    • Regular sleep time
      •  Avoid staying up late by ensuring your daytime routine is active, so that your body and mind have received appropriate levels of stimulation and some level of satisfaction or pleasure.
  • Be aware of your thoughts 
    • Negative thoughts are robust during anxious or depressed mood states.  We often lean towards Catastrophizing, Emotional reasoning, Filtering-dwelling on the negative, Jumping to conclusions, Magnifying or Minimizing- the problem over your ability, Shoulds- thinking you should be perfect, or control things we really can't, Personalizing-blame self or others.
      • ​Challenge thoughts with evidence (For example:  predicting the worst- what makes that true and what evidence suggests that is not, and what is a more accurate view).
      • ​​ Avoid the commercial or movie trailer:  our worried thoughts tend to be incomplete or disortions.  So it can be helpful to include the whole truth or the complete picture.   Put the worry in proper time, sequence, and how you may attend to those details throughout the way.  
      • Talk with a trusted person in your life about your worry.  They can sometimes naturally help you challenge your thoughts or cause you to fill in details that help you gain perspective on the potential problem.
      • Schedule more convenient times to address your worry.  Bedtime, during work, or while engaging in another activity may not be productive times to address your worries.  So schedule times when you may be able to dedicate a limited time (15 mins) to challenge your worry.
  • ​Accept your emotions
    • ​acknowledging how you feel without judgment but with compassion can be more effective because no matter  why we are worried, our emotions are a normal response.

​​​ Events in our lives are ever changing.  It is important to respect our ability to react (emotionally and behaviorally).  However, if you notice that your reaction is not helping, then it may be a sign to help yourself regain balance by actively re-evaluating the preceived threat and your ability to handle it.  

Taking these measures may guide you to this balance and ease the level of stress.

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