Life will throw you into situations that are out of your control. Some of these situations may be stressful or difficult to cope with, and in turn, may affect the state of your mental health. While we do not always have full control over what happens in our life, we do have control over how we handle the situations and move forward. Sometimes it is easier said than done, but there are ways that you can consciously manage your stress when dealing with emotional hardships.
Give into distractions
While it is not always healthy to completely avoid the stressors in your life, one way to cope with overwhelming stress is to distract yourself – especially in the beginning. The struggles you are facing will need to be addressed at one point in time, but taking your mind off of them may be a good place to start. Often times, emotions are heightened right when an event happens, and it may be best to let your mind process the event for a little while before acting.
Try taking a walk, watching a movie, or exercising to distract yourself until you are prepared to face the issues head-on.
Contradictory to the advice above, try facing your stressor head-on. However, do it with a mindful approach. Instead of mulling over the situation or circumstances, try to focus on where the emotions you are feeling are deriving from. Emotional stress can carry with it physical pain. Mindfulness is a great exercise to elevate this pain and focus on your feelings. Meditation and yoga are great places to start when practicing mindfulness.
Devote time to the stress
Eventually, you will need to confront the stress in your life in order to overcome it. Trying to balance this emotional stress with other duties and tasks can actually add more stress to your mind – in turn, affecting your mental health a great deal. Prioritize your tasks and allow yourself set time to address the stress. Organization and scheduling will help you to accomplish this. Be wary not to schedule too much time to focus on your stress as this can have adverse effects. An hour or so should give you plenty of time to assess your situation and come up with solutions.
Talk it out
Not all emotional stress triggers will go away on their own. Just the same, not all scenarios are so black and white with a clear-cut solution. Sometimes it can be extremely beneficial to get an outside perspective. Whether it be from a licensed professional or an objective third party, they may offer insight or advice that you had not considered from a different perspective.
Dealing with emotional hardships is, at times, unavoidable. Above all else, it is important to be intentional about monitoring your mental health while overcoming these obstacles.