Strategies and skills to combat stress.

The development of stress coping skills allows us to learn to relax the body and manage our reactions to stress. These techniques provide a greater capacity for self – control in these situations that can cause us stress. Facing a stressful situation does not necessarily mean feeling nervous or overwhelmed. We can learn to react in an adaptive way. The techniques, which help us to face stress, allow us to learn other responses and relax using progressive muscle relaxation. In this way, we can free ourselves of tension when we experience a situation that causes us stress.

The learning process has four stages:

  • Write a list of external elements that cause us stress.
  • Place these situations hierarchically.
  • Prepare yourself mentally in an imaginary way for these same situations in real life, to automate the coping processes.
  • Relax body muscles.

In this way you will reach a deeper knowledge of the situations that can cause us stress, how and where to settle the tension in the body and you will receive the first signs of tension as the signal to begin to relax.

Thoughts of coping with stress

Once we have developed a relaxation plan use medicines from, using the hierarchical list of stressful events, we can create a list of thoughts to deal with these situations that cause us stress. These thoughts have the function of interrupting the automatic circuit caused in a stressful situation.

In order to write a list of thoughts to deal with stress, it is necessary to take into account the four components of our emotional response:

Stimulus situation: The boss has just got angry because he forgot an appointment.

Physical response: What are the symptoms caused by the autonomic nervous system that I perceive, such as hand tremor, sweat, breathing problems, etc?

Behavioral response: We face the situation, e.g. apologizing.

Automatic thoughts: How we interpret the situation that just happened. Predictions and self-evaluation create positive or negative emotions.

Automatic thoughts How to discover these automatic thoughts.

We can say that the emotion of a person in each moment is a consequence of his thoughts. Each person can interpret, judge and label a situation in a different and personalized way and have a particular emotional response. Thus each person lives the same experience with personalized thoughts that flow from the mind without interruption. We rarely realize these automatic thoughts, but they are powerful enough to create the most intense emotions.

Features that automatic thoughts have:

Automatic thoughts are lived as spontaneous. They slam into the mind, sometimes they determine stereotypes or judgments that “seem” true.

  • They often express themselves in terms of “should, should, or should …” Many of the people torture themselves with obligations and demands. Words like “Should” precipitate a feeling of guilt.
  • They are learned. We are conditioned by family, friends, etc. to interpret a situation in some way.
  • They tend to “dramatize.” These thoughts predict catastrophes everywhere.
  • The automatic thoughts are difficult to deflect. And a thought can cause a long chain of associated thoughts.
  • No matter how irrational they are, home is always believed. Many times it is not questioned or subjected to a logical analysis.
  • g. someone with an expensive car is rich and has a determined life.

They are specific, discrete messages. E.g. A fired person says to himself: “You are a failure.”

Many times, based on a single and therefore rigid way of looking at the situation.

They are often composed of a short visual image or some essential word, e.g. alone; sick; bad; cancer … This word or short phrase works as a brief reconstruction of a past event and can cause anxiety or stress.

Anxiety or depression is the result of focusing attention on a particular group of automatic thoughts excluding all opposing thoughts.

Importance of time management to reduce stress, frustration and lack of self-esteem

Good time management and organizing help reduce stress. Developing a realistic schedule of daily activities, which includes time for work, sleep, social relations and recreation, has a positive effect on the organization of our lives. You can create a daily list of “things to do.” It works!

To improve time management you can consider the following:

Establish priorities; highlight the most important tasks that allow decisions to be made based on that importance.

Make a realistic schedule and eliminate less relevant tasks.

  • Learn to make basic decisions more agile.
  • Divide the day into three parts to better organize our time.

Effective time management has been used to minimize the anxiety caused by commitments and to avoid the anxiety and fatigue caused by work.

How to save time in four rules:

Learn to be assertive, freeing ourselves from the commitments that force us to spend time on non-priority issues.

  • Finish tasks with higher priority first and ignore less important objectives.
  • Include in the schedule a time for interruptions.
  • Include in the day moments to rest, concentrating on the deep relaxation of the body.

Psychotherapy to treat stress

Stress treatments are always personalized. The diagnosis may be the same, but the manifestation of stress can be very different depending on the personality of the person. The therapy is designed based on the personality and circumstances of each patient.

About the author

Sara T. Loving

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