When we encounter stress in life, we often have a favorite coping strategy or two. This may be something we consciously choose to do, or it could be an instinctive reaction based on what we've found to be helpful in the past, but most of us have a go-to response. However, not all stressors can be handled in the same way. More intense situations may require a highly effective stress relief strategy, while something that is more mildly stressful may respond to something simpler. Certain problems respond best to direct attention, while others are best handled by focusing on our own responses. A one-size-fits-all approach to stress relief is not always the most effective.
The following strategies can provide you with some options you may not have thought of before. Each can allow you to manage your stress in a unique way. With a collection of effective ways to relieve stress, you may find that you have many favorite strategies to use from now on.
Emotion-focused coping strategies address your emotional reaction to the stressors you face, rather than the stressors themselves. Remember the famous serenity prayer, which asks for the strength to address what can be changed, the serenity to address what can't, and the wisdom to know the difference? These stress relievers can be quite useful for retaining serenity when you are unable to change a situation.
It is often possible to change your situation in a way that relieves stress, or at least reduces it to a manageable level. While each situation is different, taking a proactive approach and making even minor changes can often create a shift that brings considerable stress relief. The following resources can help you to create solutions and address the source of your stressors, both the main stressors in your life that cause you the greatest amount of frustration, and the smaller stressors that erode your patience and ability to effectively deal with the larger issues.
Sometimes creating changes in your overall lifestyle can help to relieve stress you face in many areas. For example, taking on a habit that lowers your stress levels, or even alters your response to stress, can help with all types of stress you face by helping you to be less reactive to it. The following techniques can help you to feel less stressed overall, and to react to new stressors from a place of greater strength and emotional resilience.
In many of life's challenging situations, people say, "There are
no quick fixes," and they are often right. In the case of stress, however, they are only half-right. Fast-acting, simple strategies to reverse your stress response may not address the larger issues that are causing your stress, or even create significantly greater resilience to future stressors. However, they can be quite useful in relieving stress for a few reasons. First, they can help you to feel less stressed within minutes, and reverse your stress response, which can minimize the risks of chronic stress
, and help you to feel more 'at east' immediately. Second, once you are no longer reacting from a place of stress, you have access to clearer thinking and will likely demonstrate more effective coping abilities. Additionally, when you spend less time feeling stressed, you have less risk of getting into unhealthy responses to stress
that may create more problems for you. The following strategies can help you to relax in minutes.
This site has a wealth of information on stress relief. For ongoing information about stress and tools you can use for stress management, see these Ongoing Stress Relief Resources