Avoiding situations won’t deal with stress. In fact, avoidance may actually escalate your stress. Have you been guilty of this? Everyone has come into contact with a situation that causes stress, fear and anxiety. As a culture, we have a fight or flight response to many stress filled situations, with many people more easily making the choice of flight. This means that many people are choosing to avoid stressful events or situations entirely, rather than deal directly with the source of their stress or fear.
While in the short term, this seems like an easy fix, in actuality it can cause much more harm than good. By choosing to skip out on any event that may cause you undue stress, you will not be able to effectively learn tools and coping skills. There are many things you can do yourself to help you prepare to deal with stress in advance.
One effective tool is planning ahead. Envision the stressful situation in your mind. Maybe it is a situation at work, such as a meeting where you always feel put on the spot. Now break down the event into steps. Visualize in your mind a successful meeting. Visualize being calm, centered and in control during the whole meeting. Imagine successfully answering any questions posed to you, easily and calmly. The more you can picture yourself succeeding, the more you will be able to meet any challenge thrown your way.
Also, take time to connect with yourself before every stressful situation so that you do not feel like you need to run away from a challenge or stress. Take time to do deep breathing, relaxation or meditation, or take time to thank the universe for the multiple blessings in your life. Many people also practice affirmations. Repeating positive thoughts over and over to yourself will allow you to prep yourself to deal with stress and stressful situations as they arise.
Once you have spent time envisioning a challenging situation going smoothly, preparing internally for the challenges that may lie ahead, and practicing positive self talk and affirmations, you will be prepared and ready meet any challenging situation that may come your way. Deal with stress in this way and you will find that difficult situations can become easier, and you will be able to meet your challenges head on.