The Art of Mastering Guide

Online Counselor: How to Effectively Handle Stress

In our daily living, we encounter stress at different levels, but through right coping strategies, stress can help in improving our social skills, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and build strong psychological defenses. We encounter stress not only in our family dealings, but more so outside our homes such as the workplace, school, social circle, and the general community we are involved with. Stress can be negative or positive depending on how you handle them as manifested by signs and symptoms exhibited. Every person has his own ways of coping with stress, and some venture in meaningful and productive activities such as gardening, exercising, playing chess, or cleaning, while others drink alcohol, smoke, eat a lot, sleep for hours, or resort to drugs. So what are the good ways of handling stress?

There are many ways to cope with stress such as enjoying more sleep, exercising, talking to someone, writing a stress diary, time management, developing optimistic attitude, taking control of the problem, engaging in spiritual or religious activities, researching, and seeking professional help. Sleep deprivation can be stressful and it can become a vicious cycle, interrupting your sleeping pattern. You can try relaxation techniques before bed time such as learning breathing exercises, learning yoga, taking a warm bath, watching inspirational videos on Youtube, reading the Bible or something inspiring, viewing your family album, reading a book, and drinking a glass of milk rather than relying on over-the-counter medications just to get a sound and good sleep. It is best to avoid eating or drinking food and beverages with caffeine or alcohol that can disrupt your sleep, and stay away using the phone, tablet, or other gadgets for at least an hour before bed time. You can lower your stress by communicating what you are thinking and feeling, so talk to a trusted friend, your spouse, a relative, or to a professional counselor who can be objective in his responses and can give you a sound advice on how to best manage your stress.

A good stress management tool is having a stress diary that enables you to release your tension by becoming aware of the events or situations leading to your stress. In your stress diary, take note of the date, time, and location of each stressful situation, and also write the persons you were with and what you were doing at that time. Divert your stress in more meaningful activities rather than being negative and thinking the bad side. Do not hesitate to contact a professional online counselor for a more personalized approach to handling your stress.