There are many legitimate reasons that people may feel stressed in the modern world. Increased connectivity through technology has led to many benefits. However, we also have much easier access to horrific news stories whenever we look at our devices. While it’s a positive experience to remain “friends” with someone who lives on the other side of the country through social media, it is also possible to literally watch traumatic events unfold in real time and to read scary predictions of what the future may hold, causing us discomfort and concern. Therefore, we are all vulnerable to the effects of prolonged periods of stress. This stress can quickly become a more serious mental health concern, and thus it is vital we are able to take care of ourselves and focus on our personal wellness.
Luckily, we have more researched-based strategies for dealing with stress than we have ever had before. There are simple practices we can engage in on a day-to-day basis that can help us cope with stress in a healthy way. Such healthy coping will have ripple effects in other areas of our lives, including in the relationships we hold dear. Here are a few evidence-supported strategies that have proven helpful as we face challenges in the modern world unknown to generations that came before us.
Talk About It
One simple method to cope with stress in a healthy way is to tell someone how you are feeling. Telling someone how you are feeling or about troubling thoughts can be done in the context of a professional counseling relationship. It can also be helpful to just tell a friend or a loved one what’s going on. Dr. Dan Siegel, a psychiatrist known for his work in interpersonal neurobiology, points out how we can all help each other to emotionally regulate through healthy relationships with one another. One strategy Dr. Siegel advocates is the “Name It to Tame It” strategy. Name It to Tame It is simply putting words to your emotions, we can separate ourselves from the feeling (we are not the feeling, we are experiencing the feeling), and this often results in immediate relief.
Much of our experiences in life we have little control over. Psychological acceptance isn’t developing an “it is what it is” attitude or resigning to life as it is. Rather, acceptance here refers to developing the willingness or openness to receive what life brings, as if we were accepting a gift. Acceptance and change are not enemies. Rather, acceptance is often the doorway to change.
When coping with stress in our environments, it is vital to stay consciously connected with the things and people you care about. For some people, pursuing physical health through diet and exercise is a passion. For others, family values are critical. Still others are driven by the desire to do something about a problem that exists in the world. You may be passionate about all three of those examples or maybe you have your own values you hold dear. Make sure to find ample time to do what matters. A world-renowned Psychiatrist and holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, said it this way in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, “…suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning…”
kathy ireland® Recovery Centers provide a safe and structured program for adults who are struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Experienced therapists will teach you coping skills for life’s challenges, including some of the suggestions above. Individual and group therapy are some of the modalities used in our comfortable inpatient and outpatient programs to help you overcome your substance use disorders and any co-occurring mental health disorders. For more information, visit www.kathyirelandrecoverycenters.com
About kathy ireland® Recovery Centers – Laconia
kathy ireland® Recovery Centers – Laconia (ki®RC) merges the brand of excellence of kathy ireland® Worldwide with the management expertise of Ascension Recovery Services. ki®RC provides treatment across the continuum for people struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. ki®RC – Laconia provides Intensive Outpatient and Outpatient services to aid clients in their recovery journey. Managed by Ascension Recovery Services, ki®RC – Laconia’s leadership team has decades of experience in the industry and brings the requisite expertise to assist in providing focused, high-quality care.