It would be nice if stress called ahead to let you know it is coming. If it did, you could properly prepare – maybe set a place at dinner. Unfortunately, stress often springs up when we least expect it or from sources we did not anticipate, like when your car will not start.
Even if we do think an event, activity or person might be stressful, it can be difficult to estimate just how much stress our futures hold – which can cause more stress.
Chronic stress, whether you are suffering from a chronic condition or not, will have detrimental effects on your health. On the other hand, dealing with stress successfully is a learned habit that takes a while to develop. If you are someone who struggles with managing stress, please understand you are not alone.
When you feel overwhelmed, follow this guide:
1. Count down from 10 slowly.
Once you reach zero, start counting again. Try to count slower each time you start over.
2. Take deep and focused breaths.
Match your breathing with your counting to develop a rhythm.
3. Leave the situation.
Even if you cannot physically leave the room, tell yourself it’s OK not to dwell on the stressor. Give yourself permission to move on, especially if the stressor is out of your control.
While simple in nature, these three techniques can help you overcome many uncontrollable situations.
Combatting both interior and exterior stressors means patiently practicing often, even when you do not want to. For a full scope of stress stoppers, register for a Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop in your area. Find more information here