Why the “Best” Way Shouldn’t be the “Only” Way

We want a quick fix when we’re stressed out, but we need more than one skill. Here’s why…

You wouldn’t bring only one arrow to an archery competition, and you shouldn’t bring only one skill to a battle with stress. You need more than one arrow in your quiver if you’re going to tackle negative feelings. Often people rely on the same coping strategy to deal with overwhelming feelings. And the most common way people try to deal with uncomfortable feelings is by distraction, or “staying busy.” That isn’t a bad strategy at all, but that strategy may not always be available to you. Again, you have to have more than one arrow available to you if you’re gonna shoot down the negative feelings. 

Other options for tackling those feelings? 

  • Look for patterns that seem to prompt negative feelings 
  • Improve your self-care
    • Air: Learn new breathing techniques or exercise
    • Water: Make sure you’re not dehydrated
    • Food: Make sure you’re getting what your body needs
    • Sleep: Your therapist can help you improve your sleep hygiene
    • Social: Reach out to someone from your past you trust
    • Spiritual: Feed your soul
  • Try remembering things for which you have been especially grateful for
  • Examine repeating thoughts related to stress and check them for accuracy
  • Replace criticism with compassion for yourself and for others
  • Acknowledge your strengths and remember how you’ve used them in the past
  • Remind yourself that this is a temporary discomfort and it will eventually lessen
  • Schedule an appointment for therapy

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