4 Tips on How You Can Combat Stress and Identify Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
There will always come a time when you start to think that there is nothing in the world that can help you deal with your stress. The bills just keep pouring in, the number of hours in a day never seems to be enough to fit all your work, and the demands of family and career just keep getting bigger and bigger. The truth is, you could control all these if you wanted to. The mere realization that you are in control is a big step and the foundation of managing stress.
Managing your stress levels is all about taking control and adapting, be it with your thoughts, schedule, emotions, work, relaxation, and your environment. Your main goal should be a balance between the times you spend at work, fun and your relationships as well as your fortitude to face any challenges head on and keep a level head when under pressure.
Here are 4 key ways to get there.
Stress management training starts when you identify the sources of your stress. This may sound easy but sometimes the exact sources are not always obvious; you might be doing something now and be completely oblivious to the fact that it may be the source of your stress. It is very easy to overlook stress induced by your feelings, behaviors and your thoughts. Sure, you may think that it’s your constant worrying about the deadlines for your work but maybe the source of the stress is because of your procrastination instead of the actual demand for your job that leads to this “deadline stress.”
2. Watch and Observe
In order to pinpoint the exact source of stress, you will need to observe your attitude, excuses and your habits. Until you find it in yourself to accept the responsibility of playing a part in maintaining or creating stress, your stress levels will never be within your control.
3. Keep a journal
A great way to manage stress is to make an actual stress journal. Stress Journals can help keep track and identify the frequent stressors within your life as well as the way they are dealt with.
Each time you feel you’re stressed, record it in the journal. As the days pass, you will soon see a pattern and other common denominators behind your stress. Similarly, you will also see a pattern in how you dealt with these stressors; this is the time you would be able to see if what you’re doing to cope with the stress is healthy or not.
4. Observe your coping mechanisms
There are some coping mechanisms that may reduce stress but its effects are only temporary and may even cause damage over time. These coping strategies include smoking, drinking, using pills, overeating, undereating and even the random violent outbursts.
If you see a pattern in unhealthy coping strategies, then you might want to consider healthier options when dealing with stress such as taking a walk instead of smoking, getting a massage, taking a long warm bath, or even listening to music.