how do you cope with stressful situations

how do you cope with stressful situations

You know how it is. Everything is going along OK. You have everything in control and wallop it’s all starting again. You’ve been dropped in to a stressful situation. Or you just naturally find stressful situations. Or you just naturally find situations stressful. They all sound similar but they have different meanings. Oops I digressed.

So how do you cope with a stressful situation?

First you decide that you are going to survive….  for a long time.

Second you take solace in the fact that it won’t kill you no matter how painful it is. Yes prolonged stress can be uncomfortable and with the wrong mindset it can be harmful. But start right now to believe it’s won’t kill you and the research indicates that you won’t die from it.

Start to think a little differently:

It’s just another stressful situation. You’ve done ’em before and you’ll do ’em again!

Now down to basics. You know it’s not an option to run off and curl up in a ball no matter how much this situation makes you feel. So that means you’re going to have to get through it.

Take a deep breath, hold it for two seconds and let it out gently and be in control. Notice that calming effect of the controlled out breath. Now do that again.

Concentrate on your breathing for a few moments and notice that it’s still happening (you’re still alive). And because it’s now calm breathing then you are gaining control. Try to breathe from your diaphragm, that stops that knot forming in your stomach. If it’s already formed then it will ease it.

Either sit up straight or stand up. Now put your hands on your hips and get your head looking up. Do this for two minutes. That’s how long it takes the right chemicals to start moving round your blood stream. The effect is gradual but it does work.

While you’re doing that smile. That smile will bring about a brighter frame of mind because it’s hard wired in to your mind. If you start to monitor yourself might feel the smile radiating out to the rest of your body.

And continue breathing. But if you forget about that it will keep going all on its own. It’s part of how your body works.

In order to take time out to do all this stuff you might have to excuse yourself, or say “Hmmmm what’s the best way to approach this”. You know the sort of thing, something to buy that two minutes of time till your mind and body settles.

Now for better or worse you’ve got to get on with it!

All those things above are real things they have been measured in the laboratory. It does work. I get my clients to do this sort of thing and they find it works too.

So here’s the sequence in short.

  • Sit up straight or stand up, put your hands on your hips for 2 minutes, while you’re doing that keep going through the list. This is a case where multi tasking will help.
  • Know inside yourself that this stress is not going to kill you
  • Take 2 deep breaths and control the out-breaths.
  • Head up
  • Smile and be aware of the smile affecting your body
  • Make noises or talk to buy a bit of time
  • Keep breathing
  • Get on with it.

Take a look here to see the Ted talks that will tell you more on some of these topics.




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