Knowing how to deal with stress is an essential tool in managing your mental health. Being able to cope with stressful situations on your own, and knowing when to reach out to others for psychological help when you don’t have the internal resources to manage your stress levels can help you through challenging and dangerous times in life. Knowing how to manage your stress levels helps you to avoid feelings of overwhelm and burn out.
How To Manage Stress?
Everyone has a different threshold and responds to stressors differently. The first step is knowing and recognising what triggers stress, and doing your best to remove those stressors from your life. Sometimes the source of your stress is something obvious and significant. At other times, stress can be the result of a number of smaller factors that all add up and start to feel like too much.
Once you have identified what is stressing you out, it’s time to evaluate if you can do anything about it, in order to manage your mental health better. Not all stressful situations stress everyone out and some sources of stress are more stressful to some than others. Some common sources of stress include
- Relationship problems and divorce
- Sickness and illness
- The stress of work, school or studies
- Traumatic experiences
- Problems with finances
- Job loss and unemployment
It’s important to remember that not all events that cause stress can be managed: some are in your control, but others may not be and may need to be accepted rather than changed. This is an important aspect of preserving your mental health and a vital step to manage stress.
How To Manage Stress Symptoms?
Stress affects people in different ways. Here are just some of the ways that stress can manifest itself:
- Problems sleeping: sleeping too much or too little
- Muscle tension, usually in the upper part of the body
- Moodiness and irritability
- Feelings of anxiety or overwhelm
- An inability to concentrate
- Dependence on drugs or alcohol to cope
- Withdrawal from friends, family or interpersonal relationships
Chronic or severe stress is a risk factor for anxiety and depression and, while stress is itself quite damaging and dangerous, it can be a risk factor for more severe mental health problems.
Often people don’t have the internal resources they need to manage stress effectively, and in these cases, it is best to reach out and ask for psychological help. Getting help isn’t a sign of weakness; it is for the betterment of your mental health.
How To Deal With Stress?
Some possible management techniques for stressful situations maybe:
Sometimes talking through your stressors can help you to identify what is causing stress in your life, especially if you weren’t able to identify the problems before then. A registered psychologist or counsellor can help you with workable strategies to identify and remove problematic stressors in your life.
This is particularly useful if you are feeling overwhelmed or powerless. Often, all you need is that important first step to help you to see perspective differently.
Sometimes talking to a counsellor will only get you part of the way to a solution. In order to manage stress effectively and strengthen your mental health, you will need to apply relaxation techniques to build mental resilience. Some examples of useful strategies may include meditation and breathing techniques, yoga and tai chi.
If your stress has compounded and you are at the point where you do rely on drugs or alcohol to help you cope on a regular basis you may need some general lifestyle assistance to manage stress better. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can make a major difference in how you feel on a daily basis, and give you the strength you might need to get through particularly challenging times in your life. When you are very stressed out, it may not seem so obvious and you may need the assistance of a mental health practitioner, therapist or counsellor to be able to identify which elements of your lifestyle need to be overhauled.
Take A Break
If a major life change like having a baby or getting a job is causing you too much stress, your answer might be to defer it to a more convenient time. Moving house, expanding the family and getting a better job may all seem like wonderful milestones in life but sometimes they can cause major stress rather than excitement.
If a relationship problem with another person is giving you sleepless nights or causing you to worry, it might be time to resolve the problem with that person. If ongoing conflicts with a person are punctuating and controlling your life, you might need to learn better conflict management techniques.
If the stress of work, school or studies is taking over your life then you probably need some assistance in developing a more effective work-life balance so that you can start to enjoy your life again. Sure, we do all need to work to survive, but it is possible for our jobs to get to that point where it seems like they control us. Managing stress loads better can have a profound improvement on the state of your mental health.
If you need to know how to deal with stress, it’s best to get psychological help before stressful situations overwhelm you. There’s no need to suffer alone. Please reach out to us for help. Call us now at (02) 9884 9300