Hello, everyone, my name is Monica Villalba, and I am a Psychologist and a certified Wellness Health Coach in the United States. I have more than 23 years of experience working with patients and clients to help them to achieve their goals and improve their living conditions. After this post, you’ll learn how to manage stress by practicing four strategies. 

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We’re going to define what is stress.

Stress is a physiological response from your body in front of any difficult, challenging, overwhelming, and dangerous situation. So you’re not able to complete your activities. Because you lose the capacity to function. 

The first strategy we’re going to learn is: 

1. How we can distract our minds and change the situation. 

What is important here is to find an activity that requires you to move. If you’re in your house you can step back, you can go to the kitchen, you can go to the fridge and you can drink a glass of water. But and also if you’re in your job, and might be you’re not allowed just to go away. Go to the water station. Go to the next floor, go to the bathroom. Just, find the moment and find the activity that you have to move, that you have to do any physical movement. 

If that is something that might be it’s not possible for you. Take a moment and take a look at the picture that you might have on your phone.  In your desk, might be in your living room, just find this picture that makes you remember good moments that you had good feelings. But also, you can find this song that you enjoy the most and just try to listen to music. 

What is the idea, that you can move around, change your activity and you can go away to avoid that situation. 

The second strategy is important:

2. Engage in any physical activity.

For example,  you can go outside and maybe you can just walk around your house. That will take about 5 or 10 minutes if you feel that you do not have enough time. you Just can go around, go to the backyard, or might be going to the front door. Just try to move. Try to take a small walk, that will be so important. 

If you’re in quarantine, maybe not allowed to go outside, have some indoor activities. So, for example, you can stretch your body. You can have a seat if you like. Maybe you are working on your desk right. So Just being there, so you can try to stretch your body,  just any body movement is going to be very useful. Because at the same time that you are stretching your body, that you’re moving your muscles, your brain is going to produce healthy hormones. And those hormones are going to be very useful because you’re going to have less stress. So, when we do exercise; stretching, dancing, running, walking, running. Your brain is going to produce healthy hormones. That is going to help you to decrease the stress level and just feel more relaxed. 

The third strategy, we’re going to learn is: 

3. Focus on your breath and practice deep breathing exercises. 

It is a great opportunity to focus on your breath and recognize the different emotions in your body each time you breathe in and breathe out. It allows your body to get more oxygen. So, your heart, lungs, and brain are going to get enough oxygen. So you’re going to feel more relaxed. And Little by little you’re going to see the situation that is happening from a different perspective without making any judgment. You’re going to see the situation clearly, you’re going to be able to step back, think about what is happening, and then, you’ll decide what you can do. Focusing on your breathing helps you to slow down and little by little you can continue doing your regular activities. 

As part of this video when we finish you’ ’re going to find a way how you can do deep breathing exercises. We’re going to do this together, so you can learn how you can use a deep breathing exercise just to relax and engage in any activity. That will be so important for you. 

The fourth strategy that we’re going to review is:

4. Accept the situation

What is important here is that you can evaluate the situation and accept what is happening. So, you can see from a different perspective without judging, without making any assumption. It does not mean that you’re going to approve what is happening right now. No. You do not have to approve it. However, when you accept what is happening is like if you open your mind to see what are the facts, what are the causes, what you can do about it. 

The reality is as it is. Finding the causes that you should change will be so important. Let’s make sure that you spend some time just evaluating the situation. Because when you’re able to identify the causes, you’re going to be able to address the situations. And then, you can set up a goal.

You can make an action plan. But also, you can identify possible barriers that prevent you to complete your plan and achieve your goals. So that is so important.  

Remember; Make a plan that will be specific. That you’re going to identify the best time for you to do it. You’re going to see how much time you’re going to invest in that activity. How you can check your progress and be realistic. Write it down on a piece of paper that’s going to help you to remember what is important for you. And even though you don’t like the situation you’re going to do something about it. 

We’re going to summarize the four strategies to practice; so you may feel more confident to manage stress in difficult situations.  

The first one is to change things around you. Distract your mind. 

The second one is to engage in any physical activity

The third one is using your breathing exercises. Take a deep breath to focus on your breath and identify your body’s emotions. 

The fourth strategy is to evaluate and accept the situation and then you can make an action plan. Something that can be realistic, specific, something that you can define the period of time that you can achieve it but also, you have to do something to help you to check your progress.

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