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Problem-Solving to Manage Stress

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Problem-Solving to Manage Stress

Overview

Problem-solving can help you overcome complex stressful events. Here are the basic steps you can use.

  1. Identify all aspects of a stressful event.

    Think about your behavior, thoughts, and feelings. For example, if you have just been laid off from your job, you need to identify:

    • Behaviors, such as the need to look for another job, earn money for your family, and make other adjustments in your life.
    • Negative thoughts, such as "I'll never get another job."
    • Negative feelings, such as anger and depression.
    • How your body responds, such as fatigue or trouble sleeping.

    You can then find coping strategies, such as talking with a counselor about your feelings of anger or depression.

  2. Brainstorm some options.
    • Think of as many solutions as you can, even if they seem very hard to achieve.
    • Don't criticize any solution.
    • Combine solutions.
  3. Evaluate your options.

    When rating your solutions, take into account the:

    • Likelihood of being able to carry it out and succeed.
    • Cost in time and energy.
    • Effect of the solution on other people.
  4. Act on the best option.

    Figure out the steps you need to take, and then act.

Credits

Current as of: June 25, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

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