Soothing Chronic Stress: 4 Steps to Build Better Coping Mechanisms

Chronic stress. What is it? And how does it differ from the more common, circumstantial stress we all feel from time to time – especially when life gets tough?

In a nutshell, chronic stress is the type of stress that is constant, persistent, and won’t go away.

So if you feel yourself constantly, persistently stressed out, you could be suffering from chronic stress. If this is the case, you’ll need to build stronger stress-busting coping mechanisms than you ordinarily would.

Here are some strategic, sustainable steps to help you combat chronic stress.

Step 1. Educate Yourself On Your Stress: What Makes it Chronic?

Chronic stress is very different from the stress we feel when presented with challenging circumstances. Instead, chronic stress is commonly characterized by:

  • Feeling constantly overwhelmed.
  • Experiencing persistent fearful and anxious thoughts.
  • Increased irritability, often without reason.
  • Insomnia or interrupted sleep.
  • An inability to focus or concentrate.
  • Withdrawal from social activities.
  • Reduced energy levels.

Even worse? Chronic stress puts your health at risk. The health concerns associated with chronic stress can include:

  • Heart disease.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Digestive and gut issues.
  • Headaches and muscle soreness.
  • Weight gain.
  • Deeper psychological issues – such as anxiety disorders, and even depression.

If you experience any of these health concerns, consult your doctor, or a nurse practitioner who has completed the requisite medical qualification – like an ABSN online for example.

So now that you know you have it – how do you soothe your chronic stress?

Here are the next steps in your coping journey.

Step 2: Arm Yourself with Emotional Support: Seek Help When You Need It

If you find yourself constantly stressed out, lean on your loved ones. They may surprise you with how much support they can offer.

But admittedly, sometimes getting support from your loved ones isn’t enough. In these instances, don’t be afraid to seek professional help from a licensed therapist. The best part? As well as being able to advise you on actionable, sustainable coping mechanisms to combat your chronic stress, therapists also come from an unbiased, non-judgmental perspective.

Step 3. Act on Professional Advice: Take Your Therapy Homework on Board

If you do choose to see a therapist, be sure to use their professional advice to your advantage, by ensuring you take on the recommendations they give you in your therapy sessions.

That is to say, do your therapy homework. As well as giving you a safe space to vent, therapists will also often give you a list of actionable tasks. Just like a student completing a qualification, if you fail to complete your homework, you won’t progress in your self-development.

Step 4. Learn to Live Again: Accepting, Managing, and Navigating Life with Chronic Stress

Aside from getting professional advice, soothing your stress is also an inside job. Sometimes, you have to learn to live with it – especially if you can’t escape it.  So, how do you learn to live with your chronic stress? The first step to acceptance is self-awareness. Once you’re aware that you’re putting yourself under unnecessary stress, your awareness makes it easier to combat it.

Use CBT – or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – to take a step back from your stressed-out thoughts. This will allow you to reassess them, and to decide whether they’re rational. In most cases, you’ll find that your stress is unfounded, or that it is unnecessarily exaggerated.

Yes, stress is valid in some circumstances. Our ‘fight or flight’ response has been implanted deep in our psyche for good reason. But, if you can avoid stressing yourself out for no reason, why wouldn’t you? So, take our advice. By following our four steps to help you stress less, you could cure yourself of your chronic stress. 

To recap the four steps we’ve covered today:

First, educate yourself on what makes your stress chronic. Identify the symptoms, and familiarize yourself with the risks.

Once you’ve ascertained that this is what you’re suffering from, reach out to your network for emotional support. Failing this, seek professional help. There’s no shame in seeing a therapist, and they can help arm you with the tools you need to deal with the stress you’re feeling.

Lastly, don’t forget to live. Your chronic stress can be debilitating, but you deserve to feel happy, in control, and at peace.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 13, 2024

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