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Coping Mechanisms for The Stressed Adult

Our lives are a collection of experiences. Some days are fulfilling while others are difficult and take a toll on us. Perhaps the saving grace we all share, is that the human mind has proven itself resilient. For the purpose of self-preservation, we bear the unpleasant events thrown at us and soldier on, albeit bruised.

But what happens when an event or another is not so easily shaken off? When we become so affected by an occurrence that our peace of mind comes under threat. Such events could include:

  • Bereavement
  • Job loss
  • Divorce
  • Severe illness

When faced with such difficult scenarios and our feelings to them are not so easily resolved, we become stressed. Despair, anger, a lack of motivation, and self-neglect could become one’s new normal.

Unfortunately, life does not come to a halt while we struggle through these emotions. We are still required to go about the business of living. So, let us explore a few ways to handle stress when you encounter it.


Introspection to manage stressModern living is a busy and demanding affair. It seems as though if you do not keep up and stay productive, you quickly get left behind. In the milieu of work, personal relationships, and social media, we are in constant interaction. While that is important, it also results in us having little time for introspection.

Self-reflection gives you a chance to take stock of life events and how you are coping with them. When it is done regularly, it makes it easier for you to become aware if you are struggling through something. You would also have a chance to assess what could make that burden lighter for you.

The pitfall for many of us is that we are stuck in a state of constant engagement and distraction. For some, avoidance is even an active coping tool when they fear whatever they have to face is too heavy. However, just because you ignore it, does not mean it will go away. In fact, it could manifest in other symptoms such as:

  • Weight loss
  • Inability to sleep
  • Spontaneous bursts of anger
  • Inability to concentrate

In light of all this, make time to do self check-ins. There are many things you could evade and postpone but your well-being is not one of them.


Therapy to help manage stressSociety has, for years, had a mixed relationship with therapy. When we are not being judgmental about it, we are making jokes about it. However, we seem to be turning a corner. It is steadily becoming evident that mental health is undeniably important.

When peace of mind is at odds, there is absolutely no reason to feel shame about seeking a professional’s help. It is simple really if you had a broken arm or a tooth cavity you would be rushing to make a doctor’s appointment. Why should your psychological health be treated any differently?

Important to note is that therapy is not a magical fix. It is unlikely you will leave your first visit feeling as though all is suddenly right with the world. Be patient. The goal is to unpack and sort through your stressors with your therapist. In return, they will help you address them and make changes. For maximum benefit, choose a professional that you naturally feel comfortable with. 

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes that help manage stressWe have all seen the heart-warming shows about fantastic transformation. Houses being splashed with new paint and walls being torn down to allow more light in. When the occupants see their changed home, they get beside themselves with joy. Change is exerting but the results are a marvel of beauty.

No, I am not suggesting you pour a bucket of turquoise paint over your head. But there are alterations you can make. You can tell what is making you unhappy. Deep down, you have, at the very least, an idea of what your stressors are. Take some time and make a list.

The Serenity Prayer will give you great guidance. Truthfully acknowledge the things you can not change. For instance, grieving a loved one is not something you can simply snap out of. You can, however, be kinder to yourself or do something that honors their memory. On the other hand, there are things you are able to address from your list. Try and find a better job or extricate yourself from that abusive relationship. 

Support System

Support system to help with stress managementAsking for help can sometimes be immensely uncomfortable. At the back of our minds, we may be worried that we are being burdensome or self-indulgent. However, in that line of thought, we overlook that when we are unhappy it affects others close to us. Bouts of anger and mood swings born of stress tend to get taken out on friends and family.

As you navigate transition through a stressful period, it could be more helpful to let others know. You do not necessarily have to unburden yourself to them. However, letting them know that you are going through something could assist them to understand your demeanor.

How we deal with our emotions differs from person to person. Engaging your inner circle will give you a chance to disclose how they can support you. While some find comfort in being around loved ones, others prefer quiet time alone and thus it is worth discussing. Help with errands, finances, or therapist recommendations can equally come in handy. 

Rest and Recreation

rest and recreation to cope with stressThink of the human body as a pressure cooker that requires an outlet. The rigors of life keep building up tension inside us and when we fail to find a release, we break.

Ways to recreate are discretionary. The key is to find what works for you and even that is allowed to differ depending on the occasion. Some of these are worth considering:

  • A holiday
  • Finding a hobby
  • Exercise
  • Meditation

 The Bottom Line

Mental health has become a buzz phrase. The world is finally coming alive to the fact that it is imperative to handle it with the seriousness it deserves. More importantly, with more sensitization have come more resources. Toll-free hotlines and easily accessible care are now available.

Your peace of mind and emotional well-being allow you to be your best productive self. It doesn’t matter what method you choose, as long as it is not harmful to you or others. Go on and get better.

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