Everyone experiences overwhelming stress in different areas of their life. How you respond to stressors in your life depends on the quality of your mental health. Not everyone responds in the same way.
It is completely possible that if you are feeling overwhelmed at work, at school, or at home, it’s impacting other areas of your life. You are not alone, and learning how to cope with stress now, will help you avoid potential pitfalls and catastrophic stress-triggered events in your later life.
Learning a few healthy responses to stress can help you manage your life in a more positive way. Keep reading to find out a few common stressors, and how to cope with each one in a way that works best for you.
If you’re suffering from overwhelming stress or feelings of hopelessness, please reach out to a professional as soon as possible.
Most Common Stress Triggers
In this life of hectic work schedules, complicated home lives, and intense relationships, stress can be everywhere. It’s important to develop quality coping mechanisms for some of the worst stress triggers, but the first step is identifying some of the most common stress triggers.
Keep reading to see a list of the most common stress triggers, and although it is far from exhaustive, it is likely that you’ve experienced at least one of these in your life so far, and might experience more in the future.
- The death of a loved one
- Loss of a job
- Increase in financial obligations
- Getting married
- Moving to a new home
- Intense guilt
- Chronic illness or injury
- Other emotional problems (such as low self-esteem)
Healthy Coping Mechanisms For Overwhelming Stress
Accepting that stress is a part of life, and doesn’t mean the end of the world, is one of the first steps you should take when assessing the most stressful areas of your life. Being mentally strong means that your thoughts trend toward “hardships are inevitable” instead of “I shouldn’t have to deal with this.”
Mentally strong people keep inconveniences in proper perspective. When tempted to catastrophize a minor event — such as thinking one mistake could ruin their whole career — your therapist can help you learn how to respond by reframing the message you give yourself, and refuse to allow a pessimistic inner monologue to take hold.
Sometimes, even a simple lifestyle change can have a huge impact. When you recognize that you will not be able to combat stress if you are worn out and running on empty, you’ll be able to react in a more positive way. If you exercise, get plenty of sleep, and maintain a food regimen that keeps you nourished, you can cope with stress in a much healthier way.
Below are a few other tips to help you manage the various stressors of your life.
- Perform “deep breathing” exercises using your whole diaphragm to breathe. Sit down in a chair, or lie on the floor or a bed. Carefully place your left hand on your abdomen and your right hand on your chest. As you breathe, make sure the hand on your abdomen is moving up and down rather than the one on your chest. If the hand on your abdomen is moving you are breathing deeply and slowly.
- Try to get seven (7) to nine (9) hours of sleep, per night.
- Build your support group. Confiding in a close friend or family member, as well as your therapist, will certainly help.
- Listen to a meditative track on YouTube. This will encourage deep muscle relaxation. Progressively tense and relax each muscle group in your body. Learn the difference between muscle tension and relaxation.
- Find out what speaks to your sense of humor, and search for media that makes you laugh.
- Use visualization or guided imagery to help you learn to be one with your thoughts. Sit quietly with your eyes closed, imagining the sights, sounds and smells of your favorite place, such as a beach or mountain retreat.
- Discover which type of exercise you enjoy best to engage in joyful movement.
A Licensed Therapist Can Help You With Stress Management
Setbacks and problems will happen. How you respond to them indicates your ability to cope, and getting help from a licensed professional or therapist is an important step.
A therapist can help you keep your problems in proper perspective. Even when you can’t change the stressful circumstances, they will help you understand that you can always take steps to improve your life, and help create a plan.
You can work with a trained therapist to determine where you are struggling. Together, you can devise a plan to offer you the support and help you need to strengthen your coping mechanisms.
If you or someone you know is suffering from overwhelming stress, contact a therapist right away. Call 720-306-1631 to set up your free 30 minute consultation where we can check in with what’s present for you and you may ask a trained therapist any questions you might have. Feel free to reach out however it is most comfortable for you.
© Erica Faulhaber 2018 – This blog may be shared or reprinted as long as the information is unedited and the author bio, including contact information is printed along with the blog.