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Monday, July 13, 2020

Coping with Anxiety and Stress

Strategies for Coping with Anxiety and Stress


Life in today’s fast-paced world is complex, with more stressors and less direct social support than in past generations. Exposure to multiple life stressors has been shown to leave people vulnerable to illness and other negative outcomes, making it all the more important that effective coping strategies are developed and utilized.
One of the most common reactions to stressful life events and transitions is anxiety. One of the most widely reported mental health challenges that people face in the United States, anxiety affects about 40 million adults ages 18 and older.

  1. Practice deep breathing, meditation, or  relaxation: Breathing and meditation can help you focus on the present moment and reduce ruminative worry and anticipatory anxiety. Regular relaxation exercises lower overall physiological arousal.
  2. Look back to other stressful times: Reflect on past stressors and remind yourself that stressful periods are temporary and will pass.
  3. Identify effective coping from the past: You’ve been through tough times in the past. Review what helped you during those times.
  4. Accept negative feelings: Don’t deny anger, guilt, sadness, or negative feelings. Try to accept and acknowledge your feelings. Journaling can provide a safe space to express and process feelings.
  5. Engage in active problem solving: Identify aspects of the situation that you have control over and appropriate responses.
  6. Maintain and utilize supportive relationships: Build loving and warm relationships with trusted others you can lean on during difficult times.
  7. Get plenty of sleep: Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Establish a regular bedtime and wake-up time.
  8. Exercise: Daily exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress and anxiety. If cleared by your physician to do so, try to exercise vigorously four or more days a week.
  9. Eat well: Eat a balanced diet, and don’t skip meals and snacks.
  10. Schedule rest breaks: Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to take a few minutes several times a day to meditate, breathe, or otherwise relax.

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