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Stress & Anxiety

We all experience stress and anxiety in response to life events. Everyone has had the “butterflies in your stomach” feeling prior to a first date or a job interview. Most people have even experienced anxiety which aroused them to action (i.e., motivated them to study and prepare for an exam). Most of us are able to apply coping strategies that enable us to manage perceived threats. When we successfully apply coping skills, we limit the experience of anxiety.

Following are Tips To Manage Stress

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep your perspective and pick your battles carefully. Is last year’s crisis important now? See things for what they are: small irritants, not earthshaking crises.

  • Don’t let guilt get to you. Guilt is destructive and can be a major source of unrelenting stress. Apologize if you need to, do what you need to do, make sure it doesn’t happen again — be grateful for the lesson learned and move on.

  • Develop coping strategies. You are not helpless in situations that trigger stress responses. Use the triggers to develop more resourceful and useful responses.

  • Learn to accept and adapt to change. Don’t let your problems immobilize you — learn to have faith and practice being optimistic in uncertain situations.

  • Change the way you look at stress. Stress is the way we react to people, places, and things. You can have control over your reactions. Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.

  • Develop a support system. Just verbalizing feelings can be a great source of relief — choose someone you feel safe with, who you know you can share feelings with, without being judged.

  • Learn to accept the things you cannot change. Patience plays a large role in learning to accept what you cannot change. Practice it often and it will become easier with time.

  • Develop a personalized anti-stress regimen. This regimen should include a healthy diet, exercise, and relaxation. It should be convenient, time-effective, inexpensive, and most important of all, enjoyable.

  • Don’t take it personally. Fate does not single you out. By not taking other’s negative behavior personally, you can break the stress cycle. Don’t accept unpleasantness passively, but rather assert your right to be treated with respect or temporarily remove yourself from the situation.

  • Believe in yourself. You are your own best friend. You have all the resources within you to make the changes you need to make and to meet all the challenges that life presents you with. Meet life’s challenges with a smile — and know that you know when you do need to ask others for help.

The following sites also offer helpful suggestions about the management of stress and anxiety.