How do you cope with stressful situations? Stress is something that is all around us. And everybody hears a lot of advice on how to reduce stress. But a lot of these things are long-term solutions. For example, you are told to get more sleep, take up more exercise, or look at your diet. But these never prepare you for when you feel stress in the moment. Whether you are receiving some bad news or you are in a potentially perilous situation, what does it take to thrive when you are stressed in the moment?
Do Not Think of It As “Stress”
Perspective is important. Whether you are locked out of your car, or in a situation with conflict you may believe that it is stressful because of your own perception of the situation. When you feel the adrenaline surging, you feel the symptoms of stress because you have associated the symptoms with stress in the past. If you’re feeling your blood pressure rising or that it has got incredibly hot or all of a sudden, you’ve got to start changing your thinking about the situation that is causing you distress. Turning a crisis into an opportunity is something that we should all think about. The word “crisis” in Chinese is the same as “opportunity.” And if you start to use any stressful situation as an opportunity to help yourself thrive in the situations, you won’t feel the stress the next time it happens, or at the very least you will feel it less.
Talking Yourself Down
When we go into panic mode and we feel stressed, we can hear the voice inside our heads going into overdrive and being incredibly negative. Instead, try talking to yourself in a more logical and calm tone. Injecting some form of positivity into something that seems overwhelmingly negative is another way for you to reframe the situation. If you struggle with something like an assignment or deadline, you have to remember that if you’ve done this type of job in the past and succeeded, you will be able to handle this situation well. If you are faced with a request that is unrealistic, it is important to tell yourself that you will calm down first before going back to voice your concerns. This means that if it bounces back onto you, you are in a more stable frame of mind to debate the situation.
Address Your Symptoms of Stress
Possibly one of the most important things to consider when you are feeling really stressed in the moment is to look at your own physiological signs of stress. If you feel the tension in your lower back or your neck stiffen, these are the results of what is going on inside your body. As a result, the hormones cortisol and adrenaline are released, which will compromise your immune system and hinder your ability to feel relaxed. But when you start to recognize the symptoms, you can head them off at the pass. One of the best ways to take control of your nervous system is to incorporate relaxation exercises as a daily practice. Something like deep breathing has a fantastic impact on your nervous system and ignites what is called your parasympathetic nervous system which will induce a relaxation response.