What is Distress? A 11-step guide to manage it.

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Many get stuck in their routines and fall into a “rut” – it can be work, relationships, or even food. But what if you were able to change the way you approach your distress?

The article discusses how developing healthy coping skills can make a difference between living a fulfilling life and simply existing.

Distress is a powerful and effective emotion that helps us cope with the challenges and difficulties life throws at us.

Although distress is not a happy emotion, it does serve a purpose in life. When we feel distressed, we can often see that we need to change our attitude towards our lives. And when we think that we can make a change, it gives us the courage to move forward.

So, How to manage distress?

A distorted image of tree, as if it is in distress.
Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

Learning how to manage distress is about making small changes in your life that help you cope with the challenges and difficulties you encounter. Here are some suggestions for how to deal with distress effectively:

11 step guide to manage distress

  1. Identify the problem:

    Look at your life and identify the problems that you are facing. Once you have recognized what is causing distress, make a plan to deal with it. It may be as simple as identifying which part of your day is causing you anxiety and finding ways to avoid it.

  2. Accept that you are feeling distressed:

    It is necessary to accept that you are feeling distressed and not feel guilty about it. It will help you see the problem more clearly, and make a plan of action to deal with it.

  3. Manage your emotions:

    When we feel distressed, we may have strong emotions. The emotion is there to help us cope with the situation, but sometimes it can be stressful to manage our emotions effectively.

    For example, if you are upset about something that has happened in your life, try finding ways to cope with your feelings. It may involve talking to someone, writing in a journal, or doing something that helps you release the emotion.

  4. Moving on:

    If you feel powerless to manage your emotions effectively, it is essential to move on and try again later. There will be other opportunities in your life for you to deal with problems. It is also important to realize that emotional distress will pass, and you will manage it when it does.

  5. Accept that everyone feels stressed at times:

    You don’t have to feel guilty about feeling stressed, as everyone does from time to time. It is helpful to accept that you are stressed and not trying to avoid or escape from the situation.

  6. Try new things:

    When we feel distressed, we may want to avoid a particular situation or activity because of our feelings. It can make us feel the strain, and we may find it laborious to cope with our emotions. It is required to try new things when you are feeling distressed to break out of this cycle.

  7. Asking for help:

    Sometimes you may need to ask for help from others to cope with your problems. It is perfectly normal, and it can be helpful if you do this when you are feeling distressed.

  8. Relax:

    When we are feeling stressed or anxious, we must try and relax to feel better. It is helpful to try and relax by taking time out for yourself, doing something that you enjoy, or spending time with people who make you happy.

  9. Take control:

    When we are stressed, it can be arduous to take control of our emotions because they seem uncontrollable. It is necessary to try and take control of your emotions by understanding how they make you feel rather than avoiding them.

  10. Take a break:

    Sometimes we can become so overwhelmed with our feelings that it feels impossible to cope with them. It may be helpful if you take a break from dealing with your feelings and try to relax for a while.

  11. Be kind:

    When we are feeling distressed, it can be helpful if we show kindness towards ourselves and others. Take time out for yourself to relax or do something that you enjoy. It will be pleasant if we are kind to others when they are feeling distressed.

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We all float in the ocean of life. The waves and swells of our emotions and experiences in life can sometimes send us in different directions and at varying levels of distress. It’s in our nature to try to find balance. Take it slow as there is no hurry when it comes to managing distress.

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