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Coping with Stress

Understanding Mental Health

What is Mental Wellness

Coping with Stress

What is Stress?
Bills to pay. Deadlines to meet. Frustrations or anxiety with people. Juggling the demands of work and parenthood. Stress is an inevitable part of our lives. And life is full of potential sources of stress. But stress is not always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. However, when you are constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price.

The most dangerous aspect of stress is how easily it can creep up on you. You think that you got used to it. It may start to feel familiar, or even normal. You may not notice how much it is affecting you, even as it exacts a heavy toll.

If you often feel frazzled and overwhelmed, it is time to take action to bring your emotional and physical health back on track.

How Do I Identify Sources of Stress in My Life

Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. However, it may not be obvious where your true sources of stress lie, and all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.

Common external sources of stress

  • Major changes in life
    • Work pressures
    • Relationship difficulties
    • Financial problems
    • Being too busy
  • Common internal sources of stress
    • Inability to accept uncertainty
    • Pessimism
    • Negative self-talk
    • Unrealistic expectations
    • Perfectionism
    • Lack of assertiveness
How Can I Deal with Stress

There are many effective ways to manage and cope with stress, but all require change. You can either change the situation or change how you react to it. When deciding which option to choose, it is helpful to think of the four As: Avoid, Alter, Adapt and Accept.

Avoid unnecessary stress

Not all stress can be avoided. Certain situations must be addressed, or it could impact your health and quality of life.

But you may be surprised that there are quite a lot of stressors in your life that you can eliminate:

  • Learn how to say “no”
  • Avoid people who stress you out
  • Take control of your environment
  • Avoid hot-button topics
  • Pare down your to-do list
Alter the stressor

If you are unable to avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it. Often, this involves changing the way you communicate and operate in your daily life:

  • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up
  • Be willing to compromise
  • Be more assertive
  • Manage your time better
Adapt to the stressor

If you are unable to change the stressor, try changing an aspect of yourself. Adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude:

  • Reframe problems
  • Look at the big picture
  • Adjust your standards
  • Focus on the positive
Accept the things you cannot change

There are events in life that you cannot change or prevent, such as the loss of a loved one or an economic recession. In such cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are.

Acceptance may be difficult at first. But in the long run, it is easier than railing at a situation that you cannot change:

  • Do not try to control the uncontrollable
  • Look for the upside
  • Share your feelings
  • Learn to forgive
The Top 3 Ways to Relax and Recharge
  1. Make time for fun and relaxation

    You will be able to handle life’s stressors better as they come.

  2. Take charge of your life

    Be it your thoughts, emotions, schedule, environment, or the way you deal with problems, the key is to be the one in charge.

  3. Find balance in work, leisure and relationships

    This will provide you the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on.


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