The Scenario: She is single and has been taking care of her sick mother for many years. Her mother has cancer and is in and out of hospitals. The medical bills are mounting and she can’t keep up. The long-term stress of worrying about her mother and the finances has created physical complications. Her body is producing extra stress hormones and has weakened her immune system leaving her sickly and worn out.
What can she do to combat her stress when the situation is so overwhelming?
If she is physically doing all she can than she cannot stress about what she cannot control. When we stress our bodies activate the nervous system, we produce more adrenaline, cortisol is released, and the heart rate escalates. The stress response reaction, over the long-term, is harmful to our health and is the number one contributor to death in the United States. She can only control her mental and physical well-being.
Using some of the theories of Positive Psychology to combat her stress will help. Experts attribute life fulfillment, emotional resilience, and a healthy life style to a positive emotional state of being. Follow the summarized ideals I have listed below and take action to combat stress.
- Keep an ongoing daily journal of the things in life that you’re grateful for and revisit it often
- Be optimistic about the possible opportunities during challenging times
- Find a positive fulfilling activity or engaging hobby that takes your mind away from your stress
- Be in the moment and present in the immediate situations without the desire to amend it
- Develop your inner being with spiritual practices like prayer or meditation to stimulate inspiration
The Insight: Sometimes issues seem too large to manage, and they are. Step back from the situation to realize what you can control or manage and what is out of your hands. If you’re doing everything possible, then it’s time to think positively about your future. Know when to ask others for help. Take time to be grateful, optimistic, engaged, mindful, and spiritual in your daily life. Include someone you love and help him or her to do the same. Stress creates more stress but so rise above it. You already have tools to do so.
A Positive Perspective for Life, Love, and Relationships