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Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

How To Make Everything Seem Less Stressful

By May 3, 2012

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Have you ever had 'one of those days' where everything seemed to be extra-stressful? What about regular days with regular stresses that would be really nice if they were a little more peaceful? One of the most effective ways to relieve stress--a sort of way to inoculate yourself against feeling stressed (or at least greatly reduce your experience of stress)--is to change the way you perceive your stressors. While you can't control everything that happens to you, you can control how you respond to the events that you face in your life.

This may be easier said than done (like everything in life), but if you know what changes make a difference, you may begin to notice when you are following patterns that increase stress, you may notice new opportunities for changing your experience, and you will be well on your way to feeling less stressed in your daily life.

The following resources can help quite a bit:

Change Your Locus Of Control
People who feel that they're not in control of their lives tend to feel much more stressed by many situations than they would feel if they thought they had choices. Read more to learn the specifics, and find ways to bring more control to your experience, even if you can't make big changes at this time.

Begin a Meditative Practice
Those who meditate or pray regularly have been shown to experience less of a stressed reaction to the events in their lives. They're able to be in situations without feeling as stressed or threatened, and they can relieve the stress that they do experience, on a regular basis. Learn more about meditation and what it can do for you.

Maintain a Sense of Humor
You can make life more fun as well as less stressful (for yourself and others) by honing your sense of humor and your ability to laugh in the face of stress instead of reacting with fear or other stress responses. Learn more about this option.

Catch and Change Your Cognitive Distortions
We all have a natural tendency to distort things in our heads to relieve stress, but sometimes these defense mechanisms can create more stress than they manage. Those who learn to spot their own distortions and endeavor to see the world more clearly ultimately have an advantage in terms of less overall stress. Learn more about cognitive distortions and how they affect stress.

How to Cope With Emotional Stress
Here are some of my readers' best suggestions. I invite you to read them all and share your own.

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July 5, 2010 at 8:06 pm
(1) Carolyn Cordon says:

I love these ideas. I live a life as stress free as possible, and use my writing as a form of meditation.

My life is what it is,and I live it in the best way I can. Things that don’t work out as I thought/hoped they would are challenges to meet and learn from.

July 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm
(2) Katie Brandt says:

Thinking about stressful events in a different frame of mind is powerful. I ask myself – can I control this? can I influence this? or do I have to accept this? If I can’t control or influence the event I just have to let it go – no use in wasting my energy on it

July 9, 2011 at 8:05 pm
(3) Geri says:

These are all very helpful. I have tried a few and they work for awhile. I just think sometimes a person is so overwhelmed that no matter what is tried does little to help. It reaches a point where the things you’ve taken pleasure in doing begin to become dreaded chores.
My dad died a year ago May. I was looking after him before he died. In February 2011 I lost my job. I also had pneumonia. In April 2011 my mother had major surgery and I’ve been her caretaker ever since. She is 86 years old. I do not even have time anymore to take care of my own home or spend time with my teenage son. I also have Fibromyalgia and have been in a “flare” since the pneumonia. I just need a break.

September 24, 2012 at 1:29 am
(4) chronic heart failure pathophysiology says:

I bookmarked this рost!!, I ԁig youг ѕite!
But have never felt motivаted to comment up to nοw.
I belieѵe thаt’s changed now :)

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