There are many more ways to control your stress than you imagine. Most of your options involve strengthening your internal capabilities.
- Perspective readjustment: It is a mental activity that involves observing a stressful factor or a negative situation and explaining it (realistically and honestly) in a positive or neutral way.
- Improve your planning: Stress can be managed through planning. Start making daily lists, use planners and take action by organizing your weekly activities.
- Relaxation methods: Use relaxation tools such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing and even clinical hypnosis.
- Affirm your values: Research studies have shown that those who think about their highest values before a stressful event actually experience less stress and show a substantial decrease in stress hormone cortisone compared to control groups.
- Take advantage of your strengths: Many studies, across various cultures, show that using a strength in a new way leads to greater happiness and less distress.
- Forgive: The force of forgiveness has been shown to have a powerful damping effect on stress. Those who are highly forgiving of themselves and others have a much less chance of developing a mental illness. Without forgiveness, we experience stress in a more raw and unblocked way.
- Practice mindfulness: There is an impressive amount of research showing that mindfulness, that is, paying attention to the present moment, with the thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations and the environment that form it, helps with stress management, many ways.
- Express gratitude: The practice of counting your daily blessings has a great impact on stress. Studies have shown that it is useful to keep up with gratitude when faced with worrisome emotions.
- Use positive self-affirmation or write about something you enjoy (but not both): Those with low self-esteem felt better when they wrote about an activity they enjoyed doing but not when they wrote positive self-affirmations. The opposite is true for those with high self-esteem. These individuals felt better when they wrote positive self-affirmations but not when they wrote about an activity they enjoy.
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