People respond to stress in many different ways and use a multitude of ways to cope with it. Unfortunately, many of us use unhealthy or ineffective ways to cope and the results are frequently unsuccessful. Trying new ways to cope with stress, adding to what you already do, or modifying your current strategies can be beneficial and add to the success of your therapy here at Motivate.

We manifest our stress symptoms mentally/emotionally, physically, or a combination of the two. Identifying how you respond to stress will help you chose the coping strategies that will be most helpful. Most people require a combination of strategies and what works for one person may not work for another. Listed below are just a sample of symptoms and strategies. Feel free to search on the internet for others. Keep in mind that finding what works for you is by trial and error.

Agitation,   irritability, moody Muscle   tightness (ex pelvic floor or back/neck)
Feeling   overwhelmed/losing control Sleep   changes (too much or little)
Difficulty   relaxing/quieting mind Upset   stomach(diarrhea/constipation)
Feeling   bad about yourself Rapid   heart rate or chest pain
-low   self-esteem, Loss   of sexual desire
Feeling   worthless and/or hopeless Nervousness   or fidgety
Avoiding   others/social situations Low   energy
Constant   worrying Headaches
Racing   thoughts Appetite   changes
Forgetfulness/disorganization Frequent   colds
Poor   judgment Frequent   urination
Negative   thoughts/attitude Rapid   speech
Procrastination Hair loss,   acne, rashes 
Diaphragmatic   breathing Aromatherapy
Progressive   muscle relaxation ( Meditate
Guided   imagery ( Yoga
Exercise   and stretching Take   a bath
Be   with positive people Paint   or draw
Reading Go   for a walk
Listening   to music Do it   yourself makeover
Cry Massage
Nap Watch   a movie
Talk   to someone close to you Find   humor (movie, comedian, a funny friend)
Make   lists and prioritize things to be done first  A hobby such as gardening, bike ride,   reading
Communicate Keep   a journal
Learn   to say “no” Drink   water
Eat   well/avoid “comfort” food i.e. sugar and carbs Try   to find the positive in all people and situations

by Sharon Fritts, COTA    August 12, 2014