By: Michelle Dierna
Have you ever driven over a bridge on a windy day and felt the wind almost forcing your car in one direction because it was so strong? Well, fun fact, many bridges are designed that way in order to deal with the STRESS of the wind that might come towards the bridge. An individual might even get stressed because of the slight movement of the bridge on a windy day and the shaking below. Stress is easily one of the most common human experiences. That is why it is important to build a strong foundation. However just like bridges are built to sustain stress from external factors, we as humans can too. I know comparing human beings to inanimate objects is a bit abstract. However, stress is not easily defined, though it is strongly prevalent in our society. The wind strongly pushing on the bridge is similar to stress pushing on to a person. Usually it goes unnoticed, hard to feel until it’s really strong. Just like a bridge can collapse if not constructed correctly to deal with major stress; people can as well. What should be obtained from this is that stress is a serious issue that needs to be addressed if is consuming your life.
Coping methods for stress:
Identify the cause of the Stress and Monitor your moods: For example: What is triggering the stress? Do you find that you’re more or less stressed in certain situations, certain times of the day or even the people you surround yourself with? Once you can be more aware on what triggers stress points and what relieves stress for you specifically, you can then move on to identify when you’re feeling stressed and develop a coping method. Monitoring your mood is important for everyone. When an individual monitors their mood and feelings it’s easier to identify what causes not only stress, but other emotions and behaviors. It can be very therapeutic! Keeping a journal is a great idea to stay on track on daily moods and stressors. This makes it easier to detect areas for improvement or just to express yourself.
Organize and Make Time for yourself: Being organized is one of the most helpful tools to being a successful, productive and less stressed person. When the priorities and items in one’s life are in order, one feels better for the most part. Why? Because this eliminates the guilt of not doing what you really wanted to achieve because you were simply not organized and your priorities were not where they could have been. In many aspects of your life. This leads to disorganization in the mind, which causes stress!
How not to be stuck in this situation: try to reduce duties that are “shoulds” but not “musts”. Be realistic about what you can achieve that day and organize and prioritize accordingly! Life with a busy schedule can definitely effect your personal time. Whether it comes to work, children or school, many people find it hard to make leisure time for themselves. What should be understood is that humans need leisure time, especially with stressful schedules. Make time to go to the gym! No one ever said after a workout; I wish I didn’t go! When you work out you release endorphins which relieves stress. Working out is one of the most popular and best ways to cope with stress. Not only are you soaking up endorphins you are taking care of your physical health.
Walk away when you are too emotional to handle a situation with a safe and appropriate way. We are all human, we all have emotions yet, sometimes stress can enhance our emotions into more aggressive, invasive and sometimes even embarrassing behaviors and actions. So how can we cope with stress when we are in these high elevated moods? How can we not hurt or collapse the people around us emotionally or physically when overly stressed?
Answer: It is easier said than done but highly achievable with effort. Before you react to whatever is driving this impulse of an abnormal mood caused by stressors; take time to analyze the situation and mentally regroup. Take a walk, count to ten, talk to a confidant and express your feelings and then re-evaluate the situation. It is easier to jump to conclusions. It is harder to take a deep breath and think before you act, but with time anyone can learn to improve mechanisms to keep their composure when dealing with stress.
If you or a loved one are dealing with stress issues, problems with coping and anxiety, feel free to contact our Bergen County, New Jersey or Manhattan offices of psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists for an evaluation.
Arista Counseling & Psychiatric Services (201)368-3700 or (212)722-1920
Visit: http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.
1 .STEVE BRESSERT, Steve, PHD. “» More Tips for Coping with Stress – Psych Central.” Psych Central.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2014.
2. Association, A. (2007). More Tips for Coping with Stress. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 16, 2014.