Kingwood Psychotherapy & Assessment Center
Joni A. Adams and Associates
Main Office (832) 291-6733
Main Office (832) 291-6733
Managing Stressful Situations
Ever reflect on how you managed a major life event and wish you could go back in time and change some of those decisions? Most people do. Let us reflect on the recent hurricane, flooding, or other recent stressful event. What would you have done differently to prepare or endure the crisis?
Personally, as I reflect on the stress stemming from the hurricane, I recall my short temper and lack of patience. Feelings of helplessness were present and I felt directionless, yet, wanting to act. Who wants to just sit and wait for something bad to occur? So there I was barking orders at whoever would listen, pacing the floor, and feeling agitated. We can glean the valuable knowledge from our past experiences to aid us in future stressful events. This can be done by exploring how the practical steps listed below would have impacted our behaviors and actions. Use the short list below to find practical ways to navigate future stressful events.
Stop…pause….even for a short period of time, to ground yourself. Slow the process. Take time to collect your thoughts and orient yourself and others to the issue at hand. Pray, mediate, or utilize other skills that calm or relax you. Journeying through stressful situations with everyone at their best mental state can make life more manageable.
While paused, you can also take time to plan. Success is fostered by a good plan, right? Organize or even prioritize your thoughts. Focus on what can be done in the present and not what can’t be accomplished. Enlist support of your family, friends, or spouse. Many hands can lighten a load. Once you are focused and moving in accord with others, each person is able to effectively utilize their own skill sets.
Reviewing and implementing coping skills is another practical step that aids in working through future stressful events. Identify and use coping skills that help comfort, relax, and reduce stress. After all, some stressful events do not resolve overnight and may take weeks, months, or years. Coping skills can be as basic as reading, walk/jogging, journaling, or playing a favorite game with the family or friends. Identify coping skills that work for you.
If I would have paused, planned, and incorporated coping skills to reduce stress, Hurricane Harvey would have still created incredible amounts of destruction. However, a sense of calmness or even peace would have enabled me to be more productive, leaving me better prepared to provide safety and support to my family and others around me. Take some time today and reflect on the past hurricane or a major life crisis and reflect on how the steps above could be used to improve future situations.
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