The Healthy Way to Cope with Stress Triggers
It's another rough week at work and you're chain-smoking like a chimney in winter. Your stress and anxiety are getting much worse. But you're not alone because about 40 million Americans have an anxiety disorder.
Many people turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms to get through stressful times. But then they regret it afterward when their health fails or other consequences arise.
We put together a quick guide to help you identify stress triggers and learn to use healthy coping mechanisms. Keep reading to take the first step in managing your stress and anxiety in a healthy way.
Identifying Stress Triggers
Sometimes it's hard to pinpoint the things that cause our stress levels to rise. But, you need to identify the trigger before you can decide how best to manage the stress.
When you feel yourself getting upset, sit back and consider what triggered those feelings. These are some of the most common stress triggers:
Major life events and changes
Our lives are complex and sometimes your stress gets triggered by several things at once. Many people find it helpful to keep a journal and record their triggers as they happen. That way, it's easy to identify patterns or certain triggers that pop up more than others.
Healthy vs Unhealthy Coping Options
Once you identify what triggers stress for you, the next step is to cope with that stress. The important part is to resist the urge to use unhealthy coping habits and choose a healthy one instead. Here are some common examples of healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
Smoking is one of the most common unhealthy stress habits. A recent study found that about 34 million Americans smoke cigarettes.
Other unhealthy habits include:
Increased alcohol use
Overeating or fasting
Healthy Coping Mechanisms
One of the best options is to find a skilled mental health professional to help you learn how to manage stress. But other ways to improve your stress tolerance at home are exercising, meditation, reading, listening to peaceful music, or calling a friend.
The idea is to distract your mind from the stress trigger so you can calm down. Once calm, you can think about rational ways to deal with the problem.
De-stressing Doesn’t Need to Make You Distressed
High-stress levels make clear thinking more difficult. But, making yourself less stressed doesn't need to feel impossible. With a plan, you can manage your anxiety!
Keep these tips in mind when you need to identify and cope with stress. Practicing healthy habits makes a huge difference. Over time, you'll notice that your stress levels will drop and you'll manage high-stress times in a more healthy way.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you learned how to identify personal stress triggers. If you're in need of supportive counseling or have any questions about this article, contact us today.