1. Find some choice in what you do and how you respond to others. Feeling choice gives a sense of control, which empowers you and dilutes stress. There is always a choice in wanting to cope and be positive. There is always some choice in what you do, how you do it and how you feel about it. Find the choice.
2. Remember the power of perception. It is how you look at every situation that counts. Perception is reality and you can choose how you look at anything. Look positively; “see the glass half full”, look for the good stuff in everyone.
3. Seek social support. The research is clear: feeling part of a group, rather than isolated, buffers stress. Share with others what you are experiencing. Listen to their take on it. But, avoid negative people and gripe sessions. In the long run they do not help.
4. Help others (patients, customers, peers, supervisors) and it will come back to you. Think and practice abundance; that is, the belief that there is enough of everything to go around. There is no need to withhold or be stingy with your help, your time and other resources you have. Cooperate so that everyone wins.
5. Define your copying chunk. Do you accept minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day. Change your chunk as the circumstances require. Stress is always tolerable when we know there is some defined end point. The intolerable is possible to end in small amounts.
6. Manage your emotions. By your thoughts you can manage the intensity and duration of any feeling. Do not try to omit all feelings: just keep them within tolerable limits. Emotions like anger and disgust can not be expressed in their raw form. Practice voiding them by distraction and suppression. Emotional ventilation has limited value.
7. Create meaning for the stress you feel. Each of us feel different in a high stress situation: some feel trapped, some feel disrespected, some feel lonely, etc. How do you understand the stress you feel is your meaning of it.
8. Improve. Survivors all report that the ability to make it up as the need aose was an important tool to deal with high stress situations. Tap into your imagination and get out of the box of your usual ways of thinking when facing demands.
9. Rediscover the joy in learning. See the challenges in demands and see the opportunity to learn. All coping involves learning because the core of coping is adaptation. Ask yourself “What does this demanding situation teach me?” Perhaps it can teach me that I am stronger and smarter than I thought.
10. Laugh. When the world is the most tumultuous, it can be the funniest. It is all in how you look at it and in being able to get out of your own way to see the humor.
Copyright © 2012RalphSchillace, Ph.D.