Thriving During Stressful Situations

How to manage stress

Your body feels tense, sleep is up and down, time feels like it is slipping and as soon as you feel like you have a bit of a footing on life, one more thing comes and demands your attention.

It’s hard to know what a social life looks like before COVID – but now?

It feels like survival is the only option. Thriving during stress appears to be a far-off, whimsical idea.

Well, if you somehow squeezed in the chance to read this – pause – resist the urge to skim through and think “that had some nice thoughts” and continue buzzing through your day.

Pause.

Close your eyes, if you’d like, and let yourself rest and notice all the ways in which your body and mind have been on overdrive.

As you observe the places where tension and tiredness is sitting – ask yourself how those parts of yourself have been serving you.

Are your muscles stiff and joints aching? Does your head feel like it’s swimming? Are you to the point it feels like your eyes want to close but they can’t? Does it feel like you are carrying more than you feel able? You’ve been giving so much of yourself that your body is starting to hold what you have not had time to process. Or maybe you feel if you slowed down you worry there is too much to process, and it’s easier to just keep going?

You don’t have to just “get by.” It’s time to ask for help and unburden yourself. Challenge the idea that there is nowhere to turn to. Question the thought that it’s not worth reflecting on the matters at hand. Ask yourself – is this sustainable? It’s time to move from “surviving” to thriving!

Here are some suggestions.

Turn towards your faith.

Maybe it’s been some time since you’ve felt connected to your faith or you’ve fallen away. You’re not alone! Many people fluctuate with their connection to their faith identity for many reasons. Here is a great book to look into on this: “It’s Not Supposed to Be this Way – Finding Unexpected Strength when Disappointments Leave You Shattered” by Lysa Terkeurst

Find a way to renew yourself.

Give yourself permission to care for yourself and your needs. It’s not selfish! If you ever have been on a plane, the flight attendants will inform you that in case of emergency, you need to put on your own oxygen mask before you help the person beside you. What is your best way to “get some oxygen,” so to speak? Is it a day trip to the beach or the mountains? Painting? Gardening? Building a puzzle while listening to your favorite music? Is there a way to build silence and rest into your day?

Ask for help.

Many people feel they have to endure trial alone – that what they are experiencing is “too much” or a “burden” for others. Others feel they will be judged and misunderstood. Not relying on others means spreading yourself thin and is a recipe for burnout. If this is true for you, please reach out. What does your support system look like? If you are not sure who to trust or are struggling to find healing, make an appointment with a counselor who seems like a good fit for your needs – that’s what counselors are here for!

You are not meant to go this alone. If you feel like you are trying to survive and are struggling to get by, know this – you are meant to thrive, even when times are stressful!

Jessica Block MA, NCC, LCMHCA

How To Curb Negative Thinking

Negative Thinking

We’ve all been there…

Lost in a downward spiral of negative thinking. It’s a self-defeating cycle fueled by doubt and anxiety. It continues to build and gain momentum like a snowball down a hill taking out everything in its path.

These feelings are only intensified for those who suffer from depression and anxiety. Negative thinking can easily feel like quicksand if left unmanaged.

The good news is you can stop negative thinking in its tracks and move forward in positivity. Here are a few things to keep in mind…


Be Present

One of the best ways to stop negative thinking is to refocus your energy on the current moment. Stop and be present. The next time you feel yourself spiraling into negativity, remember to shift your thinking to the here and now.

Mindfulness techniques work to help keep you present and focused on the current moment. There are several mindfulness practices you can use to stop anxious thoughts from flooding in. Focus on your breathing. Let go of all the “what-ifs” and negative self-talk.

Tune Into Your Thoughts

You are not your thoughts.

When your thoughts are negative, they can make you feel sad, angry, and confused. Remember, thoughts are never the real you! Let your thoughts come…process them…and let them go.

As you process your thoughts, think about why you might be feeling a certain way. Many times, there’s an underlying cause to your negativity that you can work out on a deeper level. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support!

Set Healthy Boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries in all areas of your life can help you thrive! Boundaries are important in relationships with others and with ourselves. Avoid feeling overwhelmed by learning when (and how) to say “no”. Also, don’t fall victim to the comparison trap social media sometimes presents.

When you feel your thoughts spiraling negatively, take a step back.

Stop and listen—ask yourself why they are happening.

Once you do, set some boundaries that will prevent a downward spiral of negativity in the future.

Everyone experiences negative thoughts from time to time but it’s important no to let them spiral and ruin your entire day. We’re here to help you to gain control over your thoughts and feelings. Give our office a call today!