On a global scale, people seem to be under much more stress. Indeed, even the planet seems to be getting overwhelmed, so there is just no escaping the fact that many situations cause pressures that previous generations never faced. The economy and family deterioration may be the cause for some problems, and the growing epidemic of stress may be intertwined with these issues, particularly the rise of substance abuse and addiction. These problems often result as a sad outcome of relying upon prescription drugs to find some measure of relief. As this solution seems to bring on new issues altogether, where can you turn to avoid becoming overwhelmed?
Seek Out Emotional and Practical Assistance
Distressing circumstances are not new, because everyone has confronted problems in one way or another. However, the degree to which people maintain their emotional and mental wellbeing changes from person to person, attitude to attitude. Interpersonal support (support from other people) may be the key to your own wellness1. One way to face potentially overwhelming situations with courage is to look to examples of people who have endured problems like those before. If those people will lend you an ear, then express your feelings and concerns to them. If they offer you constructive criticism, then reply positively and with grace, as this response will keep the support lines open for future conversations. After accepting and applying their suggestions, you can reply with your own point of view. Be sure to thank them for their support, as this cycle will require someone taking a personal interest in you that you should not take for granted. Indeed, it is necessary to cope with situations that could be distressing, so open up! Take courage by seeking the emotional support of those around you.
A higher source of wisdom and help has benefitted many people. Look to see what local assistance is available through volunteer organizations, government benefit programs and the like. No matter what language you speak, where you live or how much money you have, you can find relief by the satisfaction through guided assistance with spirituality. Perhaps it will be worth the effort to seek answers to your spiritual questions through a free study program1.
Imagine the Light if You Cannot See It
Another coping technique for stress is to focus on the final outcome. While it may seem useless to tell yourself not to worry, doing so is a great idea. Remember that, when you apply practical wisdom and thinking to your situation, progress will likely happen. Even if no light seems to be at the end of the tunnel, imagine it being there, tell yourself that you will be there and tell others what it looks like. Never forget your potential—who you want to be and who you would be if you shed the pressures that hang upon you.
Remember that, no matter what peers seem to feel, everyone can cope with life’s challenges. Of course, you may not feel any consolation if you know that other people face adversity as well, but imagine if everyone stopped their anxious thoughts. What would the world move forward on? Progress can and will come if people have to learn how to address problems. In fact, medical researchers for years have pointed to the curative effects of positive thinking: in some research projects, patients were actually tricked into creating their own symptoms. Doctors told patients to take a pill that was essentially made of sugar to relieve certain symptoms, and the patients reported progress. The thought they were getting better was the only way they were actually doing so!
Proving the reverse to be true as well, some patients took the same pills, but were warned that they would experience negative side effects, and then they actually claimed to suffer from those problems! This fact by no means suggests that the suffering people face is all due to their choices, because difficult problems are just that, difficult. However, most problems have solutions, so, rather than allowing issues to destroy you, keep searching for the positive aspects of your life. Also, express all of the positivity that you can.
Keep a journal of five positive things that happen each day. Your brain will actually believe you, and it will motivate your emotions to move forward accordingly. Even the Mayo Clinic acknowledges the benefits of this activity in the principles of Psychotherapy2. Indeed, it is amazing how our bodies are designed to perpetuate this cycle.
Adjust Your Viewpoint
Having realistic expectations is also of great benefit3. For example, people who gauge their happiness on material possessions often find themselves robbed of their joy and feel overwhelmed when circumstances sap their financial reserves. As they try to maintain a lifestyle that they presume to be necessary, they take on more than they can handle and perhaps more than they need.
In response, cultivating a more generous attitude is actually the antidote to these problems. If your neighbors believe that you look out for their interests, then they might do the same for you when you need it most. Also, children often notice a spirit of generosity from their parents, and they may become inclined to follow such examples. You can relieve tension if each member of your family trusts that the other members look out and care for each other.
In some instances (such as severe clinical depression or anxiety disorder), medical attention is required to combat a legitimate chemical imbalance in the brain. There is no shame in looking into such treatment, because a qualified professional should take the time to listen to you. In this conversation, you should get the sense that she really wants to understand your situation empathetically before you accept her prescribed treatment4. If you or someone you know would benefit from such medical help, then please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline for instant, professional support.
1 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1360-0443.2002.00083.x/abstract? The role of functional social support in treatment retention and outcomes among outpatient adult substance abusers. Retrieved 11/4/2015
2 http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/basics/treatment/con-20032977. DEPRESSION TREATMENTS AND DRUGS, The Mayo Clinic Staff, Retrieved 11/4/15
3 https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/heartache-hope/201107/your-expectations-and-the-alcoholicaddict. YOUR EXPECTATIONS AND THE ALCOHOLIC/ADDICT, Carole Bennett M.A., Posted Jul 14 2011, Retrieved 11/4/15.
4 http://www.janinafisher.com/pdfs/stabilize.pdf THE WORK OF STABILIZATION IN TRAUMA TREATMENT, Janina Fisher, Ph.D. Published 1999 Found 11/4/15.