Stress is inevitable. It affects our lives on a regular basis. And it can easily become overbearing, unless we take action. Fortunately, there are many things we can do to minimize and cope with stress. Stress is everywhere, but it can be beaten if you manages it properly.
At one time or another, everyone falls victim to at least one, if not more, of these top five stressful life situations: death, moving, divorce, major illness and job loss.
Although these experiences can be devastating, handling them can be a bit easier with these nine general tips:
- Deal with the shock and reality of the new situation.
- Accept the things you cannot change.
- Let go of the resentment and negative emotions that may be holding you back.
- Remember that not everything is in your control.
- Remind yourself that good things can come out of negative situations.
- Adjust to changing circumstances.
- Find your inner strength.
- Develop a plan for moving forward in the most positive way.
- Have faith, gratitude and trust that you will find to the correct path to move forward.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the top five stressful situations, along with more helpful and specific ways of handling the stress related to them.
Dealing with death is painful. It feels so permanent: there’s a void you just can’t fill. One important thing to remember is that we are all energy, and energy is eternal. That means that we can talk to people who have died at any time of day or night without the restrictions of our material world! Just speak to them, tell them what you want to share, and trust that they’re listening.
There’s no denying that moving is stressful and an absolute pain in the neck whether we’ve chosen to move or circumstances dictate that we do. Think of moving as the opportunity to start over with a clean slate. If you have to pare down, just remember that material things are just stuff.
And while we may have to adjust to some new circumstances, we take what’s important with us wherever we go—the good memories, and the important relationships. If you’re moving far away, your interactions with some people will certainly change, but modern technology can help you stay in touch.
Dealing with divorce—whether you initiated it or your spouse did—is an extremely stressful situation. Accepting the finality of divorce feels like accepting defeat. Still, there was probably a time that things were good, and you can remember them while accepting that things have changed.
You’re now free of the feeling that something isn’t right in your relationship, or that you’re with someone who is all wrong for you. And if the right person should come along, you’ll be free to take advantage of that opportunity.
It’s never easy to find out that you or someone you love has a major illness. When faced with this stressful situation, however, an amazing thing happens—we suddenly become very clear on the things that matter most, and how we each play an important role in the lives of those we love.
Life-altering situations can often bring out the best in all of us. A person who is living in gratitude is not able to have feelings of anger, resentment or regret. Instead, their emotions are in a positive place, and that is more potent than any remedy. By reacting this way, they’re not only handling stress, they’re diminishing the negative effects of stress on their lives and on the lives of those around them.
Fully 1/3 of our lives are spent working, so losing a job can affect every part of our lives—the money we make, the place we live, and our daily routine. But if you think about it for a minute, you’ll realize that one way or another, planned or not, this day was always going to come. So try to think of your job loss as an adjustment to your timeline. If you can retire early, great! But most of us have to find a new way to live. Yes, it’s stressful and challenging. But if you’re willing to reinvent yourself, and maybe do what you have always wanted to do instead of what others say you should, it can also be exhilarating.
If you find yourself in any of these five stressful situations, try to keep your daily schedule simple, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Learn to say “no” to people or situations you know will make you feel anxious. Most of all, remember to be kind to yourself. You will get through this.