Different people have different ways of dealing with situations that arise in life. Some deal with things by talking to people who are close to them and getting their support. Others turn to books, exercise, meditation, therapy or self-improvement seminars. All these are reliable ways of dealing with stress. But you have to make sure that you’re doing something that helps you in the long term and not just the short term. Ask yourself whether your ways of dealing with stress are just putting a band-aid on the problem or whether they’re actually helping to make things better.
- Talking It Out: Talking things out can be a great way of dealing with stress. You can speak to your partner, your family, your friends, your therapist etc. But ask yourself whether you’re just spending a lot of time complaining about things or whether your discussions are helping you to change the situation. Ranting about what’s going on at work or in your personal life, though temporarily therapeutic, can be destructive in the long run because you end up inviting the things that you’re trying to distance yourself from.
- Books and Movies: Reading and watching movies are both great ways to lose yourself and forget about your troubles. But reading and watching mindlessly are temporary escapes. This is not to say that you should stop reading or watching things which you enjoy and start reading and watching only those things that are educational in nature. Try to vary your reading/watching material so that you get a good mix of fun and instructive books/movies.
- Exercise and Meditation: In general, you can’t go wrong with exercise or meditation. There is no wrong way to do these things. The only thing that could go wrong is if you’re just going through the motions of exercise without thinking about whether it presents any kind of challenge to you. Or you might fall asleep while meditating because you got so relaxed. Still, some exercise and some attempt at meditation is still better than none at all.