Stress Control. Basic Steps

After her third session in counseling, Blayne was about to leave, but turned around and said to her counselor, “How about next week just giving me the low-down on handling stress. No psychological mumble-jumble, just the basics. Give me a list I can post on the fridge.”

“Just happen to have one handy,” the counselor said. “Remember, though, these things work best when they are integrated with your individual circumstances. That’s where I can help.” Here’s the list she handed to Blayne:

Be personally accountable for evaluating your abilities, actions, and thinking. Coping accountability does not mean blame yourself for everything.

Modify your interpretation of stressful events. A threat can be viewed as a challenge.

Exit from the self-pity parade. It’s not all about you.

Work toward a realistic optimism and frame of reference about life. Realism is not found by listening to authoritarians.

Balance your decisions with logic, impartiality, and self-control. Do not let others make decisions for you.

Identify your values and connect your actions to them. Do the right things for the right reasons.

Focus on empathy for others rather than on your problems. Listen to others, not just yourself.

Lower your voice, smile more, and be humble in your interactions with others.

Every day, do something that makes others feel good.

Every day, thank someone who makes you feel good.

At the end of the day, write privately about events troubling you. Doing so can help you restructure your thinking about them.

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