Stress has taken a toll on a whopping 1/3rd of the global population, as per research. Can you imagine the enormity of this problem?
Stress has a way of crawling upon you. Financial worries, work pressures, relationship problems, health concerns, and juggling family life and a busy career; all add to the woes. And before you grasp it, you are dragging a ‘grumpy bag of skin.’
Wouldn’t it be nice if you were aware of some proven healthy stress coping mechanisms that could instantly make you happier?
I can hear a big Yes!
All Right then.
Discover all you want to know about effective and healthy stress coping mechanisms psychology suggests. Something that would infuse your entire being with positivity. And would set your mental and emotional state right back to where it needs to be!
To understand how healthy stress coping mechanisms can help you, you need to know what stress is. You need to identify what is the source of your anxiety before overcoming it.
What Is Stress?
Stress is an answer to a threat or a situation that affects the mental health of an individual and eventually the physical health. It is the mental, physical or emotional reaction to an external cause.
Find Out What Is The Source Of Your Stress?
Before finding out the reasons, you need to be honest with yourself and admit that you have stress. That’s pretty normal these days, and every other person goes through something unfavorable at times. In fact, in short cycles, stress can result in higher productivity, but if it graduates into a chronic form, it needs serious attention.
In most cases, you can find its root in circumstances that demand a significant change, say marriage, breakup, death of someone close, or losing your job. In some cases, it can develop from routine things – toxic relationships with the boss, wrong colleagues, crazy neighbors, the pressure of exams, and more.
Make a list of things that put your emotions on the threshold, so much that you feel like you might have an anxiety breakdown. Rank them as per the priority of solving them and how much which situations are affecting you.
If you reflect enough, you will find out the sources of your anxiety.
Now that you have come this far, allow me to help you with a few popular and healthy stress coping mechanisms and how you can implement them.
Are These Healthy Stress Coping Mechanisms Effective?
Let’s face it: Who doesn’t like shortcuts?
Most of us do, including me! But you need to understand a temporary fixing might not be the solution to everything.
Alcohol, drug abuse, smoking, and any other forms of unhealthy anxiety coping strategies are dangerous. These might give you momentary relief, but you will end up in more trouble in the long game.
The steps that I have posted below are some of the proven and healthy stress coping mechanisms psychology suggests. With these techniques, results might take some time to reflect, but you will come out a winner in the end.
Here we go!
Find a categorized list as per age groups and situations with methods for dealing with various forms of anxiety:
Healthy stress coping mechanisms for children in toxic stress
- Let them know you are with them. Children need a secure environment to prosper. They need to know someone they trust is with them even when they show outward signs of resistance.
- Be gentle with them. A suffering kid is fragile and often turns hyper and pricky. You should be kind in your approach with gentle movements to help them feel comfortable.
- Playing relaxes a fragile nervous system and induces a feel-good factor. Engage children in some outdoor or indoor games with family or friends, even if for a while, as it invites social engagement and builds a connection. These actions create a calming effect on the child.
Healthy stress coping mechanisms for parents
- Imbibe self-care in your life. Include something you like in your daily routine, and make sure you stick to it no matter what. Be it exercising, reading, playing a musical instrument, or hanging out with friends.
- Know why being grateful is essential When you have many things to deal with, stacked up bills, pressure at work, funding a child’s education, and more, you might be overwhelmed, especially when things go wrong. Make sure you are aware of the good things in your life. This will help you healthily deal with stress.
- Do not feel overwhelmed with guilt if you had an angry outburst at your child or said unpleasant things. Don’t be harsh at yourself. Take a small break, or even have a chit-chat with your kid. Express your feelings and listen to their side as well with an open mind.
- Connect with other parents of your age. You will find you are not dealing with such stressors alone. Exchange of thoughts will help you cope better with stress, and you will know that you are not the only one facing such situations.
Stress coping strategies at work
- Have a post-work routine to look forward to. Respect the boundary between non-work and work time. Meditate, exercise, read, cook, or spend time with your loved ones. Refresh yourself so that you can welcome the next day with a positive frame of mind.
- Don’t treat yourself like a bot. You are not one; none of us are. Take small coffee breaks in between work when needed. On the other hand, plan, if possible, for a weekend trip or a more extended vacation.
- Set realistic expectations for yourself. Don’t overburden yourself, and don’t compare the career growth of your peers. It would be excellent if you were honest with your efforts, and success will follow.
- If you are struggling due to deadline issues, workload, or any other issues at your workplace, don’t be shy to ask for help.
How to handle stress in a relationship
- Try a pause when you seem to be in the mid of a heated argument with your spouse. Try to be calm for a few seconds, walk out with your partner, and revisit whatever was troubling you. Such a pause would help both of you relax a bit and unwind the disturbing thoughts while enjoying your walk outside.
- Watch out for what is causing stress to you or your partner. There are chances that you or your spouse might be going through a rough patch in your lives at the workplace, financial issues, or any other reason. All those stressors might be adding to their stress levels.
- Reach out to a relationship counselor if it seems your committed efforts are not working. Your counselor might help you with new approaches to your problems and improve the communication between you and your partner.
Some More Healthy Stress Coping Mechanisms Psychology Suggests
Other than the above listed healthy stress coping mechanisms, find out what are some more strategies for coping with stress:
- Laughter is an excellent stress reliever. Research has shown it has a more powerful and instant effect on the body than any other stress-reducing activity. Laughter has the power to reduce cortisol and epinephrine – the stress hormones and is one of the healthy stress coping mechanisms.
- Sleep and stress are like a vicious circle. If you are stressed out, you tend to be sleep-deprived, and vice-versa. Have sleep hygiene – a fixed wake-up and sleeping schedule will help you cope up better. A warm bath, deep breathing, or reading a book will calm you down and help you sleep well.
- Deep breathing mechanisms, such as diaphragmatic breathing, will calm the mind, body and reduce the heart rate and blood pressure, thus producing a soothing effect and reduced cortisol levels.
Here’s how you can practice it:
Put one hand on the belly below the ribs and the other on the chest. You can practice this while standing; however, lying on the floor with bent knees is ideal.
You need to breathe in deeply through the nose and allow the belly to push the hand out while keeping the chest still. While breathing out through lips pursed, like you are whistling, feel the hand go below. Push the air out through the hand on the belly and exhale slowly. Allow yourself time with every breath.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of stress disorders, and how to deal with them?
The U.S Department of Health & Human Services broadly lists five types of anxiety disorders. The list includes Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Social Anxiety Disorder.
All the above disorders need structured medical attention and must be treated by professionals. However, exercising, meditation, deep breathing, sleep hygiene, a balanced diet, and constructive hobbies will accelerate your healing.
What is the 3 3 3 rule for anxiety?
Look around your room or wherever you are sitting or lying down and name three items in your vision. Then note three sounds you can catch. Eventually, shift three segments of your body – arm, fingers, and ankle. As your brain starts to act, this technique will engage your mind and bring it back to the current moment.
How can I reduce anxiety immediately?
Pursue any or a combination of the below steps you like if want to know how to calm down anger and stress quickly.
Focus on breathing slowly and deeply. Name your feeling of anxiety, remember it’s a phase and might not even be based on reality; it can be just an imaginary fear. Help yourself with a quick round of exercise. Or maybe go for a brisk walk or run. A temporary distraction helps sometimes.
Go for a movie or watch your favorite series, go hiking or a long drive or spend time with your pet. Make sure you choose one of your most favorite activities to distract yourself from the moment. Once you feel a little composed, speak about the issue causing you anger. Be open to finding a constructive solution.
Replicate the process for three to ten rounds. [Source: University of Michigan Health]
Our body and mind indicate signs when exhausted and burned out. You need to be aware to pick up such signals and not ignore them. Have a balance in life – relaxation is equally vital when working die-hard to meet your goals in life.
Positive habits like cultivating a constructive hobby, exercising, and taking time out for oneself will help us combat stress and not let it pile up.
However, feel free to reach out for professional help if you think it’s not something you can deal with alone.
Stay Happy, Stay Healthy!
Disclaimer: The solutions and mechanisms are healthy and proven to deal with stress but might not guarantee results for everyone. To be on the more reliable side, you can go for a professional consultation either way.