How to Manage Stress: Where does your stress come from?
You may want to start at the source. Where is it coming from? Is it that the kids are in too many after school activities to manage with your work schedule? Did auto repairs take a chunk of your paycheck and now the electric is due? Although some things we can not change, all things we can pinpoint the cause. Just identifying the problem is the first step to taking action either towards the problem or the resolution.
How to Manage Stress: Is there stress you can control?
Stress can be paralyzing and a hazard to our health. First we have to ask ourselves, "is this something we can control?" If you find yourself saying yes, then that is great news! Although the answer is there you must still go through the motions and the means to get there. Write down your goal and then write down three different ways to get to the resolution. That motion alone will resolve some of your stress. If it is something that is out of your control? We know that this is the most stressful of situations. For something that is out of your control, but still a huge stress in your life and trying to take control of it will only circulate more stress. But, all hope is not lost. In every situation there is a part you can control such as how much of your mental time you dedicate to it. You may mourn the moment, but once you process the emotion, occupy your mind with projects and positive things in your life, have a healthy laugh and let the uncontrollable be the unknown for a while.
How to Manage Stress: Is there stress that is out of your control?
You can't control what your boss does or what your mother-in-law says, but you can change how you react. Wouldn't it be nice to just block all that out and not let it bother you? Yeah, that's not feasible. We're human and those things are going to bother us, but we can say to ourselves how ridiculous it is that they just said/did that and be angry for 5 minutes. Once that time passes then we have to let it go and move on. Give yourself time to stew and work through the emotion and then release it because it's now in the past and we can't change it. Or if this is something you can't (or shouldn't) let go of so easily then approach the person. You may not get the response you want, but just confronting the problem will alleviate the stress. Now, go have a glass of wine with girlfriends and forget it. :)
How to Manage Stress: Are you doing what you love?
I feel stress should be handled like oxygen masks on airplanes... first put the mask on yourself, breathe, and then assist those around you. If you first focus on you and what makes you happy you will find that stress starts to become flexible and shrink and then you will be better at helping others, which again will help you shrink and mold the stress to a level that is not as dominant in your life.
We all have times in our lives, which are hopefully limited for you, that we feel overwhelmed. If you feel that this is too much for you to handle alone please contact your healthcare provider for local references