Manage Stress Before it Arises

by Rachel Miller

June 17, 2022

ABOVE : Mateus Campos Felipe

Stress is an interesting thing. It almost feels like an ambush: things are going well, you may feel a little bit of pressure, but then the next thing you know, you’re overwhelmed.

Consider:

  • Pay attention to those subtle signals of stress arising:
    • The underlying feeling of pressure
    • The sudden awareness of time constraint

  • Actively look for what you can do right now in this situation:
    • OK, there is real pressure, real constraints. What CAN you do?
    • What’s one thing you could do to help solve this problem?
    • You don’t need to solve everything right now, just focus on one thing that you could try that COULD help.

  • Notice how your thoughts immediately want to give up and resign to hopelessness, lament the hardship, and fret and worry about the outcome.
    • Yes, there is a deadline, and there are consequences. Actively put your mind towards what is ALSO true.
    • OK, so you didn’t get the response you wanted. Things didn’t work out according to plan. What ELSE is true? Actively focus on the possibilities that still exist.

  • Rely on the support of others:
    • You will be strangely tempted to become reclusive and preoccupied with doubt and self-pity.
    • Actively reach out for support from others.
    • Consider: How can others support you now? Let them.
    • Think: What CAN I try? What’s one thing that COULD help right now?

  • Actively focus all your attention on the HOPE side of things. There is always ONE glimmer of opportunity hidden in every situation. Find it. Focus on it, and allow others to help you get there.

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