The short answer to this is: not very well, unless you consider good coping mechanisms are eating chocolate and buying things, in which case I am ace at stress and anxiety management.
In all seriousness I am trying to get better at this after a pretty anxious period last year and I thought I would share some of the techniques I employ in case it could help you or others you know because a lot of people find it difficult and it can have a negative impact on your mental health, which is not cool.
So I often do the following:
- Remind myself about the bigger picture. If this is a work situation I often remind myself that “no one died”. Excellent. Thankfully, this has always been true.
- Acknowledge anything that I have done which has contributed to the situation.
- Don’t continually beat myself up about 2; it has been done, now let’s try and rectify it, whilst reminding myself constantly re 1.
- Think of solutions that could easily be accomplished to better the situation.
- I like to write down what happened and what I can now do to try and resolve it.
- If there are no obvious solutions/or it is not a particular incident but just a feeling of stress or anxiety I might write out my feelings or acknowledge them in my head. You can’t help how you feel, so again, don’t berate yourself a la 3.
- Talk it through with a friend. You need someone who is both sympathetic but also someone who won’t let you wallow and run away with yourself.
- If you are not religiously inclined some “quiet time” could also do the trick.
- Remember that if it involves other people they are likely not as annoyed/angry/upset about it as you are worried they are.
- I hear that Headspace is a good app which I plan on trying.
We all deal with stress and anxiety differently. If you think the way that you are dealing with it (or not) is overwhelming you, or affecting your day to to day life then you should talk to your doctor. You shouldn’t think that it’s a “first world problem” or “insignificant”. If it is bothering you then you need to see if you need some more structured help with how to manage it.
Your doctor is not going to judge you, your friends and family won’t either. It does not mean you are “crazy” or “weak”.
If you think that someone is living with stress and anxiety to a level where it is affecting them, then talk to them about it, let them know they aren’t alone!
I strongly believe that one of the best ways to love each other is to let others know they aren’t alone. If you can’t relate, or empathise, then pass on information, link people in with other writers or services or support groups that will be able to help them. Let them know that just because you haven’t had the exact same experience that it doesn’t mean they are alone!
Feeling alone is pretty terrible. Let someone know you are there and that you care, even if you don’t understand. It’s better to do this than remain silent because you’re worried you’ll say the wrong thing!