6) Inspire Yourself
While some may find reading the stories of others helpful in coping with stress, Maunder suggests looking for inspiration even closer to home. “It’s useful to step back and reflect on your own past successes in coping with difficulty,” he says. “That process helps you to say, ‘I’ve dealt with lots of things well enough in the past. How do I deal with this?”
7) Share The Burden
A 2007 study by researchers at Austria’s Medical University of Graz found that short-term behavioural group therapy effectively helped men who were stressed by overwork to lower their blood pressure and reduce overall stress. “Setting structure within your daily life and gaining support from family and friends to take on new activities can both help as you try to create new, more effective ways to deal with your stress,” says Saunders.
8) How To Positively Cope With Stress
1. Assess it. “Stress comes both from real demands and from the internal experience of how you perceive those demands,” says Saunders.How you respond to stress will depend on how you rate your resources, both internal (“I can knock this assignment off in an evening”) and external (“My friend Beth is great at this—she could help me out”) in response to that crisis. If you perceive you have the resources to cope, your stress level may not increase.
2. Change it. If your resources are lacking, you may need to take concrete steps to change things.
3. Cope with it. If you can’t change things, “you move on to emotion-focused coping, where the focus is not on making the problem better but on making yourself feel better about what you can’t change,” says Maunder.
4. Learn from it. For significant or persistent stress, coping emotionally might not be enough. In the most extreme kinds of stress—a parent’s chronic illness perhaps—it’s most effective to find a deep personal meaning or value in what you have been through, says Maunder. “Often, you’ll hear people say, ‘I wouldn’t have wished it on anyone, but it brought us together as a family.‘ That’s an example of that kind of coping.”