“I can’t, I can’t, I just can’t take this anymore!” my Aunt exclaimed in dismay as she watched her favorite football team, the NY Giants, lose a football game in the last few seconds of play. Angry and without hesitation, my aunt began to rearrange all of the furniture in her living room as physical way to release her frustrations. An avid fan of football, my aunt was intently invested in every play and every penalty of every game, and when her team lost, she expressed her stress through her words, emotions, and actions. While I didn’t realize it at the time, my aunt’s reactions in these circumstances illustrate a perfect example my Coping Strategies for Stressful Situations, strategies that work if you choose to implement them.
Want to know what my Coping Strategies for Stressful Situations are? Read on!
- Experience and Express. We can be overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions in stressful situations, and often times we do not give ourselves permission to experience them fully. It is OK to have whatever thoughts and emotions arise. They are a necessary part of our human experience. Allow your thoughts and emotions to be as they are and give yourself a healthy outlet to express and release them fully so they do not weigh you down. That is what my aunt did. She chose to express her anxieties in a healthy way by sharing them with trusted people around her and creating a new interior design for her living room. Once she experienced and expressed, she did not dwell on or intensify her anxieties and the stress she was feeling in her mind and body eased. Ask yourself, what positive outlets can be your go-to actions for allowing yourself to experience and express your stress?
- Accept and Act. All of us have stressful situations more impactful than a football game loss, but accepting those situations as they are, regardless of their intensity, helps us to clear the way toward action for change. When we take action without acceptance, we act from a place of fear and resistance to what is, which often produces unwanted results. If we choose to accept our situation fully, including our distaste for it, and act out of acceptance, we clear the resistance clutter in our minds and bodies and invite clarity to discern solutions based on objective, nonjudgmental analysis and intuitive inner knowing and contentment. Acceptance leads us toward empowered, positive, and effective action for change.
- Value Yourself. The importance of valuing ourselves cannot be overstated. When we are stressed, overwhelmed, and depleted we are NOT in the best place to serve our responsibilities, serve others, or serve ourselves. It is ESSENTIAL to embody the belief that we are worth the effort to make choices in perspectives and actions that will better our lives.
No matter the degree of our stress, we always have the power to choose. Use that power of choice to experience and express in a healthy way, embrace acceptance, and value yourself.
With Love, Light and Gratitude,