The easiest and most common thing to do when you encounter a stressful situation is to react. Somehow we have learnt that stress = freak out. But by the time you get to the end of this post you will know how to respond to a situation that is causing you to panic in the moment. I will be leaving you in a peaceful state, while the situation continues to happen anyway.
This Process helps me in any difficult situation and even on a day to day basis when things get a little ‘busy’ I can incorporate some of the elements into my day.
Stop! As much as you would like to scream, shout and punch the air, don’t. Instead sit down somewhere if you can and take 3 slow, deep breaths.
Think about it
Take some time to think about what’s just happened, depending on what it is go through the situation in your mind, you may want to be alone at this point or maybe go for a walk.
Taking time out to think will help you get a full picture of what you have to deal with at a later time.
Take your mind of it
Because you can only think about one thing at a time and you have already had your time for thinking about the stressful situation. Now you are going to not only think about other things but totally take your mind off the situation that is causing you stress in the first place. Here’s how:
1. Spending time with friends and family, especially the ones that are fun, helpful and positive. (lets face it all friends and family are not like this)
2. Change your environment - I could say go for a walk but you will probably end up walking and thinking about the stuff you have to deal with like we talked about earlier.
3. Go on a night out – No I didn’t say get totally drunk and try to drown your sorrows, but go and have some fun, dance and socialise with others.
Two heads are better than one (In other words seek help)
Talk to someone you trust, or for a more serious situation seek professional help. What is it with humans were afraid to share our problems and sometimes bottling it all in can make things feel worse, like you are going it all alone. There are people who will genuinely want to help you I’m sure. You’ve done this before waited till a bad situation is ok *then* you told someone all about it, to which there reply was “why didn’t you tell me, I could have helped”.
Take steps towards a change
So what happens now?
You have everything in perspective, now is the time to make a plan or do what you can to do to put things right again. Who do you need to speak to? Maybe you don’t have to do anything. The situation may be one that takes care of itself. That being the case, sit down in your favourite chair, relax.
Staying present (in the moment) keeps you from thinking about what has happened (the past) or what may happen next (future). You want to only think about NOW because that is all there really is. Being in the moment allows you to do what you need to do right now without a false sense of worry or fear of what ‘might’ be.
Now your turn. How do you overcome a stressful situation?