4 Ways to Deal with Mental Stress

In our busy lives, I’m sure everybody experiences mental stress from time to time. Your head is not always as clear as the picture above can make you feel. Last week I mentioned in my post On the Right Track, a little booklet about letting go. Inspired by this booklet, I decided to write this article on dealing with mental stress. I will mention 4 ways you can handle this stress.

Ask Yourself Questions
The first way to deal with mental stress is asking yourself the following questions from time to time, and especially when you feel stressed out about something.

  • Who says I must do this? (applies to just about everything)
  • Do I have to be perfect in everything I do?
  • Do I have to be efficient in everything I do?
  • Do I need to keep up-to-date with everything? Do I have to read all the newspapers and magazines, read all the best-seller books on management, watch all the popular shows on television?

Make Lists
If you want to clear your head, you can make the following lists.

  • Things that cannot be changed.
  • Things I am not going to (and am not able to) solve.
  • Things I will not think and stress about anymore.
  • Things that seem important (but are not).
  • Things that I now decide, I will not have to do anymore.
  • Things that can wait until next year.
  • Things that are going great.

EFT/Tapping
You can, of course, always use EFT/Tapping when something comes up and you feel stressed. Just use the reason why you’re stressed or the symptoms you now experience in your setup statement and go through the whole sequence. If you are new to EFT, you can read my article on How to Get Started with EFT.

Avoid, Alter, Accept, or Adapt
And finally, the fourth way of dealing with mental stress is the one advised by the Mayo Clinic: the Four A’s. I learned this habit of choosing the right response for mental stress in Simpleology 103: The Simple Science of Personal Energy. The options are:

  • Avoid – a lot of needless stress can be avoided by planning ahead or rearranging your surroundings.
  • Alter – attempt to change the situation for the better.
  • Accept – accept what cannot be changed or what you do not want to change.
  • Adapt – adapt to the situation and deal with it. This can mean changing your standards or expectations.

This can help tremendously when dealing with mental stress. It is all about dealing with the situation or letting go if it cannot be helped.

The following quote, that has been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs, is a great inspiration for this.

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
~ Serenity Prayer by theologist Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

Conclusion
You can use all 4 ways to deal with mental stress or you can use just one. It is all up to you. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect in applying these methods.

Thanks to Flow Magazine and lsltn.nl for the inspiration (these sites are in Dutch).

Take care,
Gerber

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