Stress Less — The Practical Side

Wouldn’t it be great if you could reduce stress in your life? Well, you can. The first step to reducing stress is identifying your stressors. This part of stress reduction is fairly easy. Most people can readily rattle off what is causing the most stress in their lives—marital conflict, sickness, financial hardship, strained relationships, work difficulties, etc.

The next step in reducing your stress level is figuring out what you as a person look like when you are stressed and not managing your life well. What I mean is, what not-so-great behaviors and/or habits you veer towards when under pressure. As therapists, we call these negative coping mechanisms. For example, some people when they are under a great amount of stress do things like eat more or less, sleep more or less, overindulge in alcohol, use drugs, overspend, etc. The idea here is that if you are going to be successful at handling stress you first have to know how NOT to react to it.

After you have identified your negative coping mechanisms, make a list of your positive ones. For example, maybe you run, read or take a personal day when you are feeling stressed. Maybe there is a certain person you call or have coffee with when you are feeling under the gun.

In the next personal blog on this topic I will expound upon what to do with the information you have identified thus far. But, for now, just knowing your stressors and your positive and negative ways of dealing with them is helpful. If you are experiencing stressors that are interfering with the quality of your daily life, a licensed mental health counselor can help. She can help you identify and implement positive coping mechanisms and provide a supportive environment so that you can not only weather this season of life, but grow and thrive. Please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment with a trained mental health counselor.


Yolanda Brailey