Coping with Stress: Where there is feeling, there is growth!

Updated: May 2

Dear all,

I have to confess that this past week brought with it unusual challenges and sporadic experiences of stress.

I wonder how each of you is travelling through your week…?

Just in case they may come in handy, I wanted to share with you 3 of my latest/favorite strategies for coping with stress! I am sure they will add value to the coping that already works for you.

1. Where there is a feeling, there is growth…

I’ve always appreciated this truth as a therapist, and lately it sunk into my heart and mindset even more deeply.

I find it very comforting and inspiring to appreciate that any feeling is asking me to take a closer look at some aspect of my inner experience, offering an opportunity for growth! I stop and reflect on whatever question seems most appropriate for my circumstance.

Is my feeling drawing my attention to reflect on:

  • what my needs are;

  • what I am saying to myself about a situation;

  • what aspect of a situation I am focusing on;

  • the coping I am turning to?

I’ll give you a recent example, from literally a couple of hours ago. When my 2 year old had the crankies at the end of the day and everything was a “weh,” I noticed myself experiencing a moment of anxiety. So, I asked myself:

What kind of an attitude would bring the greatest good and calm to this situation?

Perhaps focusing on the here and now, appreciating that in 15min he will most likely be sound asleep and I will be having a blissful cup of green tea with honey, or shifting my focus exclusively to how to best support him… Where there is a feeling, there is growth!

2. The second strategy is the classic, popular way in which psychologists perceive stress, that is as an appraisal: how are my coping resources matching the (perceived) demands of a situation?

I.e. Is there enough time, money, energy, skills, or other resources… to meet the demands of a challenging situation?

It thus follows that options to consider when striving to reduce the experience of stress are: a. finding ways to reduce (perceived and actual) demands and/or b. finding ways to increase support and resources…

What can I let go of? (e.g. chores that don’t need my urgent attention) What can be of support? (e.g. doing a relaxation, delegating.)

It is worth while to remember that at times of stress our brain is more likely to attend to what can go wrong, hence the perceived demands of a situation may seem greater or more challenging.

3. The third strategy for coping with stress can be summarized with this helpful quote about resilience, which I love keeping in the back of my mind!

Seeking balance encourages me to take mental post-it-notes of opportunities that can potentially restore an experience of balance to myself, my family, or community.

Looking for opportunities for sacred solitude (otherwise known as me-time) nourishes my being through striving for a work/life balance that leads to feeling optimally energized.

With warmest wishes for a week filled with moments of love, peace, and inspiration!