Thursday, May 19, 2022

How To Cope With Stressful Situations

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How to Deal with Stressful Situations

Weve all heard the phrase, no man is an island. Thats even more true when were going through a hard time. Often, we like to isolate and face our struggles head-on, only emerging after weve resolved the problem and come out victorious.

However, there is support and vulnerability in opening up to someone you trust. It allows you to put down your burden, not for anyone else to fix, but to simply quit carrying it around in silence.

Opening up that channel of communication and confession also puts you in a beautiful position to receive feedback and perspectives that you might not have considered before.

Emotional Symptoms Of Traumatic Stress Include:

Shock and disbelief. You have a hard time accepting the reality of what happened, or feel numb and disconnected from your feelings.

Fear. You worry that the same thing will happen again, or that youll lose control or break down.

Sadness or grief, especially if people you know died or suffered life-altering consequences.

Helplessness. The sudden, unpredictable nature of violent crime, accidents, pandemics, or natural disasters can leave you feeling vulnerable and helpless, and even trigger anxiety or depression.

Guilt that you survived when others died, or feeling that you could have done more to help.

Anger. You may be angry at God, governments, or others you feel are responsible, or be prone to emotional outbursts.

Shame, especially over feelings or fears that you cant control.

Relief. You may feel relieved that the worst is over, that you werent as badly affected as others, or even hopeful that your life will return to normal.

Simplify Your Morning Routine

So many of us want to get as much done as possible in any given day. Its natural to want to cross every item off of our to-do list, but not doing so often causes us more stress and worry, and for what?

Simplifying your morning routine gives you more headspace to prioritize tasks in a way that doesnt feel crowded and overwhelming.

Try preparing kids lunches the night before, or laying out your clothes or work items before you head to bed. In the morning, sit down with a list of things to do that you can write down, instead of trying to remember everything as the day unfolds.

Starting your day off in a way that works for you will help you manage stressors better: 15 Ways to Simplify your Morning Routine and Have a Great Morning

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Interview Question: How Do You Handle Stress

Key takeaways:

  • Employers ask this question to determine how you might handle challenging situations that come with the job.

  • Explain the tools, methods and techniques you use to work under pressure.

  • Use the STAR response technique to offer a specific example of a time you handled stress well.

If youve ever held a jobor even if youre new to the workforceyoure probably familiar with feelings of stress at work. Potential employers may sometimes ask about how you handle stress in a job interview. When they ask this question, interviewers are looking for information on how you will react in stressful moments, and how your reaction may affect your teammates and the company overall.

To prepare for this question, consider how youve dealt with stressful work experiences in the past. Then, think about how those moments may have helped you better understand your strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we share some helpful tips to guide your answer.

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Tip : Practice The 4 As Of Stress Management

Coping With Job Stress

While stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors arise at predictable times: your commute to work, a meeting with your boss, or family gatherings, for example. When handling such predictable stressors, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose in any given scenario, its helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.

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Other People Creating The Stress

When youre asked to describe a stressful situation and how you handled it, you could reflect on when it was about other people creating the stress.

Example 5: In my previous job, there was a difficult person in our team that seemed to get very agitated when things did not go her way and when she was faced with other opinions. She was stressed a lot of the time, as we all worked in a team and it required us to all be flexible.

For me, I handled this situation of working with her by doing only what I needed to in the professional sense in communicating with her, and when I did not need to be around her, I removed myself from her presence and spent more time working alongside positive and motivated people.

Example 6: I found that my last role had a few people working in the team who were always stressed for some reason or another, but what helps me personally stay grounded, and handle the stress that came up daily in this environment, was regular exercise outside of work.

This had such a big impact in the way that I showed up in this role as level-headed and positive in my energy, even if others around me werent.

Recommended Course: Managing Team Conflict 

Can Stress Be Positive

Research has shown that stress can sometimes be positive. It can make you more alert and help you perform better in certain situations.2 However, stress has only been found to be beneficial if it is short-lived.

Excessive or prolonged stress can contribute to illness such as heart disease3 and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.4

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Know What To Control And What To Release

Knowing when to let go of a situation, conflict, or person can be a powerful practice in alleviating that stress. It can also benefit you in being able to distinguish when and how to release what no longer brings you reward, joy, or purpose.

Were not meant to control everything, and accepting that can be a truly liberating experience.

Strategies To Cope With Family Stress

How to deal with stressful situations in relationships

Coping strategies to guide you and your family when dealing with everyday stress and crisis situations.

Stress is a normal part of life. We all encounter stress in a variety of different situations, forms and amounts. What causes stress for one person may seem like no big deal to someone else.

Stress can come from seemingly small events like heavy traffic or a long line at the store, or it can be a result of a crisis event, like the loss of a job, a death in the family, a pandemic such as that caused by the novel coronavirus, the virus that causes the infectious disease COVID-19, or the catastrophic flooding experienced in mid-Michigan.

The most important thing to do is to recognize, accept and manage your stress to avoid negative physical and emotional consequences. Stress that is not managed can manifest into chronic stress. Chronic stress has been shown to suppress your immune system, increase blood pressure and blood sugar levels and exacerbate underlying conditions like anxiety and depression.

Figuring out what stress management tools work best for you can be a process. While there is no perfect way to manage stress, here are some tips that may work for you and your family:

Michigan State University Extension has a variety of classes to help people learn to manage stress. Please visit our website to find offerings and experts in your area.

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Also Check: How To Cope With Stress In The Workplace

Tips For Giving The Best Answer

Show the employer how you manage stress. That way, the interviewer can build up a clear picture of how well you adapt to stressful situations. For example, describe a time when you were given a difficult task or multiple assignments and how you rose to the occasion.

Focus on success. When you respond, share examples of how you succeeded despite being in a stressful situation, or of how you problem-solved to resolve the issue that caused stress.

When its a stressful job. Some jobs are stressful by nature. If youre applying for a high-stress job, be sure to let the interviewer know that youre used to working under stress and that its part of your normal routine.

Reach Out And Touch Someone

The simple act of touching another person or being touched can ease your stress. James A. Coan, an assistant professor of psychology and a neuroscientist at the University of Virginia, recruited 16 women who felt they had strong support in their relationships. To simulate stress, he subjected each woman to a mild electric shock under three conditions, all while monitoring her brain. The shocks were administered in no particular order while the woman was 1) alone, 2) holding a strangers hand, and 3) holding her husbands hand.

Notably, both instances of hand-holding reduced the neural activity in areas of the womans brain associated with stress. But when the woman was holding her husbands hand, the effect was even greater, and it was particularly pronounced in women who had the highest marital-happiness scores. Holding a husbands hand during the electric shock resulted in a calming of the brain regions associated with pain similar to the effect brought about by use of a pain-relieving drug.

Coan says the study simulates how a supportive marriage and partnership gives the brain the opportunity to outsource some of its most difficult neural work. When someone holds your hand in a study or just shows that they are there for you by giving you a back rub, when youre in their presence, that becomes a cue that you dont have to regulate your negative emotion,

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Map Your Social Network

During times of high stress we have a tendency to retreat. We cancel social plans and focus on the work, money crisis or trauma that is our source of stress. But friends and social support are among the best forms of therapy to help you escape stress for brief periods of time. Friends can also make you feel better about yourself, and that mountain of stress in your life wont look so steep.

When Dr. Southwick, Yale Medical School psychiatrist, co-wrote his book on resilience, he interviewed a number of people who had shown resilience against all odds, including former prisoners of war and people who had survived trauma. One thing they had in common was social support.

The resilient people we interviewed actively reached out for support, said Dr. Southwick. They dont sit around and wait.

Even POWs held in isolation devised a tapping method of communication with their fellow prisoners. Most, if not all, said it was life-saving to know they werent alone and they were cared for, said Dr. Southwick.

When Dr. Southwick, a psychiatrist, meets with a new patient, one of the first things he does is construct a diagram of the patients social network. Sometimes they just talk about it some patients want to map it out on paper. Who is in your life? Who can you count on? asks Dr. Southwick. Make your own list of your social network and keep it handy when you need to call on someone for support.

Tip : Reach Out To Others

5 Tips To Handle High Stress Situations

You may be tempted to withdraw from friends and social activities following a traumatic event, but connecting face to face with other people is vital to recovery. The simple act of talking face to face with another human can trigger hormones that relieve traumatic stress.

You dont have to talk about your traumatic experiences. Reaching out to others doesnt necessarily mean talking about the traumatic event. Comfort comes from feeling connected and involved with others you trust. Talk about and do normal things with friends and loved ones, things that have nothing to do with the event that triggered your traumatic stress.

Expand your social network. If you live alone or your social network is limited, its never too late to reach out to others and make new friends. Take advantage of support groups, church gatherings, and community organizations. Join a sports team or hobby club to meet people with similar interests.

Reaching out when youre cut off from others

While substitutes for face-to-face contact dont have the same mental health benefits, sometimes its not always possible to see friends and loved ones in-person following a disaster or crisis.

Perhaps youre temporarily kept apart by travel conditions, quarantining, or a lockdown during a pandemic, for example. In these circumstances, reach out to loved ones via video chat, telephone, social media, or text messagingany way you can to feel a connection and remind yourself that youre not alone at this time.

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Develop Techniques That Will Help You To Feel In Control Of Your Life

There is plenty of research that suggests that the single factor that causes most stress is feeling out of control.

One way that you can help yourself to avoid stress is to develop techniques to help you solve problems and make decisions more easily.

For example, one problem-solving technique involves writing down the problem and coming up with as many possible solutions as you can. Decide on the good and bad points of each one and select the best solution. Write down each step that you need to take as part of the solution: what will be done, how will it be done, when will it be done, who is involved and where will it take place.

There is more about this and other techniques in our series of pages on Problem-Solving and Decision-Making.

Listen To Music On The Drive Home

Listening to music offers many benefits and can be an effective way to relieve stress before, during, and after work. Playing an uplifting song while you make breakfast can help you start the day off feeling better prepared to interact with the people in your life. Likewise, combating the stress of a long day with your favorite music on the drive home can help you wind down and feel less stressed when you get there.

Also Check: What To Do If You Are Stressed

Helpful Organisations For Money Worries

It is important if you are worried about your finances and debts that you do not try to deal with them alone. There is a lot of help and support available to you through organisations such as Step Change and Citizens Advice.

You should also talk to your GP or a trusted health professional if you are worried about how debt is affecting your mental and physical health.

Managing Stress During The Interview

How To Deal With Stressful Situations

Job interviews are stressful for most people. Even if you’ve interviewed a lot, it can still be challenging to stay calm and collected. You’re meeting new people in a new environment, and you’re trying to sell your credentials to someone who might be your next boss.

There are strategies you can use to handle interview stress and to sell yourself to the hiring manager.

A big part of handling stress is preparation. Be sure to research the company in advance and practice answering common interview questions. The more you practice, the more comfortable youll feel in the interview.

You can also reduce stress by avoiding negative thinking . Instead, visualize having a successful interview . Do this visualization in the hours right before the interview.

Use these relaxation techniques. If you start to feel stressed just before the interview, try taking a deep breath or two to relax. During the interview, feel free to take a breath or a sip of water before answering a question. This will give you some time to compose yourself and prepare your answer.

Watch your body language. Your body language during the interview can also help convey that you’re relaxed. Try to avoid fidgeting too much. Stand up straight and look the interviewer in the eye . By appearing calm and confident, you are more likely to feel calm and confident.

Being able to effectively handle a stressful job interview will indicate to employers that you’ll also be able to handle workplace stress.

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Managing Stress In Daily Life

Stress is not an illness itself, but it can cause serious illness if it isn’t addressed. It’s important to recognise the symptoms of stress early. Recognising the signs and symptoms of stress will help you figure out ways of coping and save you from adopting unhealthy coping methods, such as drinking or smoking.

There is little you can do to prevent stress, but there are many things you can do to manage stress more effectively, such as learning how to relax, taking regular exercise and adopting good time-management techniques.

Studies have found that mindfulness courses, where participants are taught simple meditations across a series of weeks, can also help to reduce stress and improve mood.

Signs And Symptoms Of Traumatic Stress

Whether or not the traumatic event directly impacted you, its normal to feel anxious, scared, and uncertain about what the future may hold. Your nervous system has become overwhelmed by stress, triggering a wide range of intense emotions and physical reactions. These symptoms of traumatic stress can range from mild to severe and often come and go in waves. There may be times when you feel jumpy and anxious, for example, and other times when you feel disconnected and numb.

Also Check: When I Get Stressed My Stomach Hurts

Managing Common Stressful Situations At Work

If you feel stressed by a certain problem at work, you might not be alone in this.

Many of us may experience these common stressful situations in the workplace. The important thing is understanding how to manage them.

Problems with your workload

  • Ask your manager for help. Discuss your workload with your manager, if you have one. Try setting realistic targets and talk about how you can solve the issues you’re having.
  • Try to balance your time. You might be doing too much at once. If you don’t give each task your full attention, it can take longer. Try to claim your time back if you ever need to work extra hours to get something done.
  • Reward yourself for achievements. Rather than only focusing on work that needs to be done next, reward yourself for tasks youâve completed. Your reward could be taking a break to read, doing a puzzle, chatting with co-workers or spending time outside.
  • Be realistic. You don’t have to be perfect all the time. You might find that you’re being more critical of your own work than you need to be. Work within your limitations and try to be kind to yourself.

“I don’t take on too much at one time, little steps are the way. Breathing strategies, having a mindset and thinking, ‘I can do this!'”

Difficult work-life balance

Lack of support in your workplace

“My work has become a strong support system. My work colleagues have become like family and there is a mutual respect in how we treat one another.”

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