Once you know what’s causing your stress or anxiety, consider how you can eliminate or reduce it effectively.
If you can’t eliminate all of those items on your list, you can at least cope with them in a healthier way.
- Consider your expectations and make sure they are realistic.
- Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to get things done and set reasonable goals.
- Learn to say no and to live within manageable limits.
- Learn to accept the things you can not change.
- Determine which problems are under your control and make a plan to deal with them.
- Talk to your supervisor about processes or problems that are making you feel overwhelmed or underappreciated at work.
- Talk to family members about problems at home and enlist friends and family to help solve them.
- Talk to a consumer debt agency, join a support group or go to financial seminars to learn how to control your finances.
- Get help through a mental health specialist or support group for problems such as alcoholism, recreational or prescription drug abuse or gambling problems.
- Consider couple’s counseling for relationship problems.
- Know the situations or people that trigger your stress.
- Avoid triggers whenever possible.
- If poor sleep triggers irritability, make certain you plan for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
- If traffic jams are a trigger, plan to go early and work out close to work, plan to get breakfast near work & enjoy some quiet time, or arrange for a shifted work schedule that allows you to avoid traffic.
- Schedule time to relax and to do activities you enjoy.
- Set aside 20 minutes a day to sit quietly and breathe deeply.
- Practice gratitude. Recalling what you are grateful for in yourself and expressing gratitude to others can help reduce stressful thoughts and make you feel happier.
- Exercise every day. This can improve your mood significantly.
- Talk to a mental health specialist to help you learn tools to accept those things that are outside of your control.
- Talk to your doctor about medication if you find yourself experiencing persistent mood changes that interfere with your daily activities or prevent you from feeling joy from those things that have made you feel pleasure in the past.
Read more of Dr. Stuart’s thoughts here
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Dr. Cynthia Stuart, MD