Resilience: How to Better Cope with Stress

Resilience: How to Better Cope with Stress

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In our modern world, we all encounter a significant amount of stress on an everyday level. It becomes harder when other life difficulties and personal crises join this level of stress. Many of us go through challenging situations, but our answers to those challenges significantly differ. Some of us can cope better with stress while others feel overwhelmed and hopeless. According to psychologists, people who better cope with stress have developed resiliency during their lives. Dr. Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, found out that resilient people have a few common traits. They have good problem-solving skills, they do not hesitate to ask for support, they strongly believe in themselves, and they have a backbone in close relationships with other people. They are also able to generate hope, which can be learned throughout our lives. To find out how to develop resilience and better cope with stress, the article “How Can I Become More Resilient?” offers some ideas.

Resilience: How to Better Cope with Stress

Psychological resilience is equally important. One key component of psychological resilience is what is called ‘appraisal.’ Appraisal means how you look at a challenging situation, whether as a threat or a challenge. And this has major effects on your body’s (and mind’s) responses. If you view a situation as a threat, your fear response systems are set off–the amygdala, the brain’s fear center, sends signals to the pituitary and adrenal glands to release stress response hormones, which increase blood pressure and pulse and blood glucose level, and increase anxiety. In the short run, fear responses can be helpful; in the long run, they kill. In contrast, situations that are viewed as challenges set off an entirely different set of psychological and physical reactions. In Charney and Nemeroff’s words, “The hormones released by an appraisal of challenge include growth factors, insulin, and other compounds that promote cell repair, trigger relaxation responses, and stimulate efficient energy use.” A person who feels challenged is calm, thoughtful, enthusiastic, and invigorated, whereas a person who feels threatened is anxious, panicky, scared, combative, and reactive.

Apart from this, there is one important thing that can help us immediately to relieve stress. It is humor. Humor can help us change our focus from problems and lessen the tension. It can also help learn to laugh at ourselves and do not take ourselves and our problems too seriously. While suppressing emotions can result in their increasing, a good dose of humor and sense of comedy can help us balance our feelings. We need some amount of humor to feel better and stop thinking too much about bothering situation we cannot change. While it can be useful to think about problems to find a solution, too much focusing can worsen our mood and increase sadness and despair. Learning to keep a balance, cultivating hope and developing a sense that nothing last forever, will make us more resilient. All of these will better equip us to manage stress.

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