Stress is inevitable, but you must understand that stress is essential for survival. The “fight-or-flight” mechanism built into you, allows you to respond appropriately to danger. It’s all part of a chemical reaction that occurs in the brain. The problem is when there are too many stressors at one time or the body is constantly in an anxious state, it causes both physical and mental health problems.
Americans Are Stressed Out
In 2015, the American Psychological Association did a study on stress. On a scale of 1 to 10, they found that Americans are about a 5 when it comes to being stressed out. That number is significant because that means almost half of the population is in a constant state of stress.
This is, no doubt, why the use of antidepressants is up over 400% in the past two decades. Stress can kill. So, here are 10 of the most common stressful situations and how you can cope with the pressure that comes with them.
1. Death in the Family
There is nothing worse than losing your loved one. This is an emotionally devastating experience. Never suppress your feelings. You must learn to express your emotions appropriately. Avoiding your feelings can prolong the grieving process. You may feel anger and injustice or even question the meaning of life.
These things are normal. Mental Health America suggests that you don’t judge yourself or how you feel. Rather, you should surround yourself with people who are in the same situation or who has been through something like this. Find someone to talk to that you can be open and honest with. Most of all, find creative outlets to occupy your time.
2. Losing Your Job
Losing your job may cause panic. If you have no savings or 401k to fall back on, then you may really be at a loss. This significant rejection can lead to depression, so it’s important that you process the loss and move on. You must find another way to make money.
According to Erica Cirino from Health Line, the longer you are unemployed the more psychological unease you will have. Just like with a death, you will likely experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Start pounding the pavement looking for another job. You may want to consider career changes or going back to school too. Also, don’t be afraid to take a lesser paying gig until you find the one you want. Some money is better than no money.
Moving is chaotic and a big cause for stress. Whether you lost your home or your job transfers you doesn’t matter. Relocating from one place to another brings about major challenges. The fact that you may be in a new house or city can be overwhelming.
If it is moving to a new town that bothers you, Dianne Schmidt from The Spruce suggests you make a list of all the exciting things to do in the city. Find something to look forward to after the dust from the move has settled.
4. Having Difficult Conversations
Confrontation is never fun nor is it easy. But remember honesty is always the best. Don’t beat around the bush, just put all your cards on the table. Ryan Howes Ph.D., from Psychology Today, suggests that you stick to the point, and you must back it up with evidence. If you are in the right, then you should take comfort in that.
Things may be messy for a while, but getting something that is eating you off your chest is better than letting it affect your health.
5. Being The Victim Of A Crime
Being the victim of a crime causes both physical and psychological trauma. You may have cuts, bruises, or broken arms and legs, but the real pain is internal. The outer damages will heal, but the mental pain will last a while. To get through this discomfort, take care of yourself. If you need to sleep, let yourself sleep.
Victims of Crime suggests you join a support group and find comfort in others. Re-establish your normal routine as soon as possible. If you recognize signs of PTSD or other mental disorders after the incident, get professional help.
6. Dealing With a Serious Illness or Injury
While the physical repercussions of the injury are usually apparent, the psychological ones are not so easy to spot. You may feel isolated, have the fear of re-injury, and deal with a low self of esteem. Find a way to stay connected with the sport while you heal. Even if you just become a spectator, it’s still giving you something to look forward to.
Talk to someone. The fear and loss you have experienced is great. Dealing with a new reality often takes some professional assistance.
When you say, “I Do,” you think it will be forever. However, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 2,400 divorces every day in America. Remember, the only thing worse than being single is being married to the wrong one.
Find some friends that are also single. Support groups are a good outlet, and you need to get back out in the dating world too. You can go out as friends, you don’t have to make it serious. The companionship is what you will miss most. Don’t isolate yourself and allow the feelings of anguish take over. Force yourself to get out of the house and keep going. If you’re going through a recent divorce, this video from lifestyle blogger Lavenda gives some great insights into the five stages of divorce and how to cope.
8. Having a Child
There is nothing more beautiful than a baby. The birth of a child is a magnificent event. However, it is one that is also filled with great stress. The household will be torn upside down, and you probably won’t get much sleep for a while. The biggest thing with a new child is asking for help when you feel overwhelmed.
You should rest when the child is resting. Ask others to step in and help out when they can. Baby support groups online can help with tips and tricks for dealing with newborn stress. If you can afford it, hire someone to help a few days a week. It will make you and baby happier to focus on feedings and sleep.
Since 90% of couples say their marriage declined after the birth of a child, make sure to nurture that relationship too.
9. Having Financial Difficulties
Seeing a zero balance in the check book is horrifying. When your paychecks get cut, you need to make up the money some other way. Try getting a part time job, even a paper route could help out. Sell some things on eBay and other online outlets.
If your home is in foreclosure, there are numerous programs out there that can help. Talk to your mortgage lender about doing a loan modification. It may save your home. If the process is too far along, then focus on finding a new place to dwell. Financial problems are not fun no matter what the cause.
Being faced with financial losses can be unbearable. There are many community organizations that can help you. Job and Family Services and Community Action are places that can help with the first month’s rent and deposit. If your income has taken a hit and you lost your home, seek resources in your community.
10. Legal Issues
Being arrested, accused of a crime or going to jail is a cause of stress. You can always get free counsel no matter what the crime. The court is required to give you representation, without cost, if you are indigent. In these situations, it’s best, to be honest with everyone, including yourself.
If your legal difficulties were caused by a substance abuse problem, there are also many programs, including some court appointed ones, that can help you conquer this addiction.
Being Proactive With Stress
No matter what life throws at you, it is better to have a plan rather than to let the anxiety and fear control your life. Try to find solutions to the problems rather than fretting and worrying about the outcomes. Did you know that many of the things that you fear won’t even happen? Your body and mind don’t need any extra stress. Don’t borrow trouble from tomorrow. Learn to live in the moment.