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How to cope with stress when you’re overwhelmed

At some point of the day, we are bound to encounter a situation that will trigger stress. It’s inevitable, and overwhelming at times.

The 2018 Stress in America study by the American Psychological Association found all generations of adults feel stressed in general, with the highest category of stress to be money, followed by work, health-related concerns and the economy.

But it is important to not let stressful situations get the best of us and consume our lives. No amount of financial hardship or work challenges are worth giving up precious time you could be spending with your loved ones enjoying all the good life has to offer.

I would be lying if I said I lived a stress-free life, especially as a working mom. But seeing my daughter’s excitement when I pick her up from daycare after a long day of work, makes me forget about the stress. Seeing the big smile on Emma’s face when she sees me drowns out all the chaos of everyday life. So when the going gets tough and stress gets the best of you, keep these ways to cope in mind:

Talk to someone about it.

It’s important to not let stress bottle up inside you. You need a way to release it, and one of the best ways to do that is by talking about everything making you feel this way with the people you trust—whether that be a family member, close friend or therapist.

Let it all out, and express exactly how these stressful situations in your life are making you feel. Having someone to listen and support you can offer some relief and alleviate the weight on your shoulders.

Realize that stressing will not solve anything.

The reality is that no matter how much we stress over things, it will not solve anything or better the situation. If anything, it will impede you from accomplishing the things that bring you the most joy.

Don’t dwell on stressful situations. Instead, realize that the only thing standing in the way of letting that overwhelming feeling go is you. Make a commitment to work through challenges one day at a time, without being so hard on yourself.

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Do things you enjoy to relax.

What better way to get away from stress, than by relaxing and doing the things that bring you the most joy? Exercise, paint, sing, dance, watch movies, or spend the day at the park with your family. Do things that will distract you from everything else going on in your life. Take a break from the stress triggers and focus on yourself and your mental well-being.

Focus on the good in your life.

When the stress gets to be too much, shift your focus to all the good going on in your life. Focus on your family and friends who love you, the fulfilling aspects of your career or the house that you have made into your home. Chances are, you probably have many more positive things happening than you think.

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Vivian Gatica Lopez

Vivian Gatica Lopez is a writer based in Colorado Springs, CO. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from California State University, Long Beach, and a passion for storytelling.