Coping With Stress

Oct 9, 2012 - 11:39:14 AM

Stress, of itself, is not a problem. The ability to cope with stress is what is important. Those who have the right coping techniques can deal with any stress; those who don't cannot. The following are a selection of positive techniques/strategies that will help you breeze through life with a smile and a good word for everyone.....

Look on the bright side of things.
A positive mental attitude to oneself and to the world is the basis of success. A good sense of self-deprecating humour and a sense of the ridiculous are needed.
Every cloud has a silver lining, only to look for it.

More time with friends and family.
Communication, honest and open, must be worked on; it is not as easy as it
sounds. Learn, above all, to listen to others and to yourself also.

Think about, and try out, ways to solve the problem.
No problem is insoluble. Calm yourself and think. Most of our problems are in our own minds. Smile at yourself - you will be surprised how this will help.

Talk to someone who might be able to help.
Identify persons that you can trust and that can help you. Make a habit of
talking with them even when you do not have a problem. Such persons
might be a family member, a teacher, counsellor or friend.

Try to stay calm and relaxed.
This is like bullet three above. Think back - how many of the awful things you have feared have come to pass; and even if the worst happened, how bad was it? Smile!

Let off steam by doing exercise.
Your muscles are stronger than your nerves. Let them help you out. You
should plan and carry out a regular routine of aerobic exercise. A healthy body and a healthy mind go together. Lack of exercise is destructive.

Look for help from a teacher, counsellor, adult.
Most teachers are only too glad to help. Get to know those whom you feel
comfortable with.

The following set of coping techniques are not useful, take it out on your own nervous system and general health, mental and physical, and leave you feeling dull and hopeless, drifting into despair.

Worry about the problem and keep it to yourself.
This sets up an inward spiral of despair and blocks your ability to think clearly. A problem shared is a problem halved. You are not the only one to have your
particular problem. We all have much the same problems, thoughts and
feelings. When you realize this you are on your way to success.

Blame yourself for the problem.
Sometimes we are responsible for the problem. It is good to recognize this
but don't bludgeon yourself to death over it. Every human being makes
mistakes. So develop that sense of humour that enables you to look smilingly at yourself and say "you blew it". Don't feel guilty; just get on with finding a solution to your present dilemma and resolve to do better next time.

Ignore the problem and hope it will go away.
This is living in denial. It is doubly dangerous as it allows a problem to gnaw away at you while you pretend all is well, so denying you the chance to face
yourself honestly and get the help you, and all of us, need.

Think that nothing can be done to make things better.
This is the most serious of these coping strategies strategies. This is
approaching despair and closes the door on all the positive techniques that
will certainly make things better. You owe yourself positive thinking;
otherwise you are in danger of using one of the confused-destructive
techniques listed under the last three bullits.

Make a wish that everything would turn out O.K.
This is living in cloud-cuckoo land. It's all very well to wish but it is
essential to be up and doing and engaging in one of the positive strategies. So, check out these strategies and work on making them part of your repertoire of coping.

Let off steam by crying, screaming.
This technique is related to two of the negative techniques, under bullits 4 and 2 -‘thinking nothing can be done to make things better' and ‘blame yourself
for the problem'. That attitude of hopelessness and self blame leads to this unproductive behaviour that solves nothing. Learn to smile at yourself and don't waste time in screaming or crying.

Use alcohol/other drugs to try to block out the problem.
We were not being dramatic when we stated earlier that we are drowning in a sea of alcohol. Exploitation of the young is rife. They are being hard sold on the idea that they must have anything they want and have it immediately. Some 10% of our people are disposed to become alcoholics, some 30% to be heavy drinkers. For those who are struggling with a problem or with stress, alcohol and other drugs provide a quick fix for a moment but leave one much worse off in the short run and in deep trouble and depression in the long run. The young person who uses alcohol or other drugs is extremely foolish. The one who leads a young person to drink is surely irresponsible and uncaring.

Blame someone else for the problem.
It may be someone else who is the source of the problem but it is your
problem now! It is a waste of time and a distraction blaming someone else. So you exonerate yourself - the problem remains and you are now further away from resolving it. Forget about laying blame, smile and use one of the positive active techniques.

The above was written with the young person in mind. It is to be hoped that the adult, the parent, the teacher, the concerned citizen will also benefit and be able to help young persons on their way. To do this properly we must be aware of the techniques of coping in general use by young people and realise that they are our techniques also. The KMHA has found that almost one in every twenty young teen-agers feels under severe stress, is unable to cope with the stress, and must be seen to be in danger of self-destructive behaviour. These young people need our help.

We can help in two ways. First let us look at the example we are giving both in our behaviour and in the techniques of coping we use. We may find things that need changing and will, hopefully, change them for the better. Secondly let us realise that there is no substitute for a friendly, accepting and trusted ear. Let us learn to make time for those who need us and to listen non-judgmentally.



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