Ways to Cope with Stress
Date Added: 08 July 2020, 12:16
Last Updated Date:03 November 2020, 13:24
Stating that stress is a negative mental or emotional experience to change and adapt to any internal or external factors that wreak havoc on our emotional equilibrium or are likely to deteriorate the balance of our daily lives, Damla Alkan, Clinical Psychologist at Near East University Hospital, suggests that we should engage in stress relieving activities or other alternative activities that help us break the hold stress has on our lives in stressful situations.

What is Stress?
Defining stress as a negative mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from internal or external factors that cause havoc and deterioration on the equilibrium of our daily lives, Damla Alkan, Clinical Psychologist at Near East University Hospital, states that stress is usually accompanied with cognitive, emotional, behavioral and physical changes. Expressing that people may experience stress in daily life, at school, at home, in the family and in the business environment, Damla Alkan, Clinical Psychologist at Near East University Hospital, notes that stress develops just not only facing with negative events such as getting a traffic ticket, trying to find a job, coping with death in the family and going through a divorce. "It can also be experienced during positive life events such as shopping for holiday, meeting an unexpected job description or getting married. Stress is more related to how the event is perceived by the person rather than what the events are. In other words, an experience may be stressful for some people and not for others. For example, while a person can consider the job loss as extremely stressful, another person can consider it as an opportunity to try a new area. While low stress that we experienced plays a protective or motivating role in the event causing stress, high stress disrupts our quality of life and daily functionality”.

Suggestions for Coping with Stress
Highlighting the significant role of approaching the events positively, Clinical Psychologist Damla Alkan states that a negative approach narrows the ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life. "In this regard, to be positive and looking at the bright side of the event to meet challenges is very important in managing stress. To think positively is always essential. Positive emotions such as being happy and rejoicing as well as negative emotions such as being nervous and angry are also unique to people. Rather than dealing with events that are out of our control and gnawing away at our minds with stressful questions such as "How many people will be infected with coronavirus", "How many COVID-19 cases will be detected today" and "Do schools open in September", spending more time on activities that we can control our energy such as going to work, doing sports, spending time with our families and friends, and scheduling our work and using time more effectively will reduce our stress level”.

Clinical Psychologist Damla Alkan: “Taking over More Responsibility than Required Increases Stress.”
Indicating that taking more responsibility than required makes people feel more stressed and nervous, Clinical Psychologist Damla Alkan underlines that persons taken more responsibility than required should first share their responsibilities with the people around them and reduce the stress they experience. “People should seek support from their parents, siblings, relatives or friends for challenges that they experience difficulty in coping with them. They should do physical and spiritual relaxation activities such as breathing and relaxation exercises or sports. In addition, people should provide themselves with opportunities to express their feelings. For example, if a person has a friend around him to chat or have a heart to heart talk, sharing his/her emotions and grieves with him/her, unless such a friend is not available, keeping a diary, engaging in poetry or various art activities help him/her reduce his/her stress. On the other hand, eating healthy and well-balanced meals, doing exercise on a regular basis and getting plenty of sleep help reduce the stress. However, in spite of all the efforts exerted, if people still have difficulty in coping with stress, they should definitely consult an expert”.

Clinical Psychologist Damla Alkan: "Spare Time for Activities You Enjoy Doing."
Stating that people need to devote time for activities that strengthen their self-esteem, Clinic Psychologist Damla Alkan underlines that sparing time for self-care activities such as going to a hair-dresser, having skincare, doing sports, reading books strengthens the self-esteem and relieves the stress. In addition, if the activity we are dealing with causes us to feel tense and stressed, switching our attention to another activity that we will enjoy more will help reduce our stress level. Apart from this, doing an activity that we do not enjoy doing together with another activity that we enjoy doing will also be effective in reducing our stress level. For example, if we have to do something that we do not like doing, and if we love listening to music, listening to music while doing that work will help reduce the level of stress by making our work more enjoyable. ”