Coping skills can lessen the impact that stress has on your mental and physical health. And they can help to recharge your energy, enabling you to be ready and prepared for the next stressor.
Sometimes, a coping skill is remarkably simple.
“I take the hour a day for myself to check out, and it’s really good for me. I mean, I sit in that chair and I put on the earphones. And I listen to the sounds, and I just calmly find myself in such a relaxed state.”
Deep breathing is one such coping skill. It’s easy to do and can be done almost anywhere. First sit or lie down. Breathe in slowly through your nose. You will feel your stomach expand as you breathe in. Exhale slowly. It can help make you feel more relaxed and can calm your mind and body.
Progressive muscle relaxation is another technique to reduce the negative effects of stress. To perform this exercise, first sit on a bed or comfortable chair.
Starting at the top of your body, tense one set of muscles at a time. Count to eight, then exhale and let your muscles relax.
Wait a few seconds then focus on another area of the body. You’ll notice that the tension in your body starts to be relieved.
Another stress relief skill you might consider is self-hypnosis. It can help you focus your mind, let go of your thoughts and worries, and relax. Meditation can be very helpful, too.
“I have had stress from pain. I knew that from my meditation practice, I could just observe the pain; make it an object of my observation. And in doing so, be able to be with it - and not be afraid of it, or angry with it, or obsessed over it. But just there it is. That’s it. ‘Hi, pain.’”
Biofeedback can teach you how to judge the level of your stress, and how to lessen its effect on your body.
Also, many people find that prayer can be a great help.
“I feel that that helps a great deal. I think that’s a huge stress reliever.”
For more information on these and other coping skills talk to your healthcare provider. They might recommend one or more to help with your overall stress level.
“I’ve worked before with exercise. I’ve worked with meditation and I’ve found those to be very helpful in dealing with stress.”
Finding out what coping skill works best for you, and using it, will help you to better handle the stress in your life.