We have all experienced some degree of stress, and different people have various coping mechanisms in order to reduce or relieve the stress that one is experiencing. Nevertheless, at times these fail us. This could be either because of the magnitude of the problem causing the stress or else because of a number of stressors which have accumulated and thus taken over.
How does one deal when overwhelmed with stress?
One of the first things to do in such a situation is to take a break (American Heart Association, 2021). Although this might be challenging, remember that looking at a problem when one is stressed and tired there is a tendency to feel stuck which creates additional stress. Hence, moving away from the problem for some time might give one a fresh perspective when one returns to the problematic event.
There are a number of different distractions which have been deemed beneficial in stressful situations. One of the most recommended is to take time to play with one’s children or pets. Considering that these are stress-free, they can help one unwind by taking one’s mind off the matter. Furthermore, exercise has also been recommended to alleviate stress. The rationale behind this is that exercise can allow one to express certain emotions through the physical activity being done. Thus it also gives one a clearer mind (NHS, 2021).
Seeking advice from loved ones could also help one gain an outside perspective which might contain alternatives that one was not viewing. Even if a solution isn’t found in this way it could provide one with the opportunity of talking out loud about what is stressing them out. The benefits of this are that by hearing oneself, one can possibly realise that one’s reaction was not proportional to the problem or else could perhaps give one a solution which wasn’t thought of before. Additionally, this could also help one feel supported and not alone which could reduce stress significantly (American Heart Association, 2021).
Be Aware of Your Self-Talk
Finally, being aware of one’s language could also help reduce stress. When talking about stress, there is a tendency to use negative self-talk. This explores how one cannot handle the situation or how one is alone. Therefore, when one becomes aware of such language, one could work on changing this into positive self-talk. This includes changing these statements into others which are realistic yet optimistic such as ‘I can do this’ or ‘I am human, I made a mistake but I can fix this’. Such language can shed hope for one’s situation and thus creates movement in this overwhelming level of stress that one might be experiencing (American Heart Association, 2021).
Become Friends with your Stress
Despite all, do not be discouraged by stress because it is the body’s natural response to being overwhelmed (Mayo Clinic, 2018). The most important thing is to take care of yourself and not allow stress to accumulate. Take deep breaths, break down the problem and take things one step at a time.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Yasmine Bonnici graduated in Nursing and also completed her Masters in Counselling. She has worked with victims of domestic violence, clients dealing with suicidal ideations, bereavement, separation and anxieties. She is currently working with Willingness Team as a counsellor seeing clients who would like to explore their own identity and deal with any surfacing issues.
American Heart Association. (2021). 3 Tips to Manage Stress. www.heart.org. Retrieved 9 October 2022, from
Mayo Clinic. (2018). 5 tips to manage stress. Retrieved 9 October 2022, from https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/5-tips -to-manage-stress.
NHS. (2021). 10 stress busters. nhs.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2022, from https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/guides-tools-and-activities/tips-to-reduce -stress/.