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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Melia

When tensions take over due to life events -10 ways you can help yourself

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

Tensions and anxiety are natural reactions to anything that happens in life that threatens to upset our safety, well-being, and happiness.

When emotional upsets occur frequently, are disturbing and fail to wear off after a while - this is a time to be watchful.

10 ways you can help yourself

1. Talk it over

When a reaction to something happening in your life worries you, talk it over. Do not bottle it up.

Confide your worry in someone you can trust.

Talking things over helps to relieve the strain, vent the frustration, enables you to see your reaction in a clearer light, and often helps you to see what you can do about it.

2. Escape for a while

When a reaction to someone or some life event worries you, it often helps to get away from the problem for a while; to lose yourself in a good movie, or a book, or a walk for a change of scene. Making yourself ‘stand there’ is a form of self-punishment and is unlikely to solve the problem and it is perfectly healthy to escape for long enough for you to recover breath and balance.

Just be prepared to come back and deal with your difficulty when you are more composed, and when you and others involved are in a better state emotionally to deal with it.

3. Work off your anger

If you feel yourself using anger as a general way of reacting to life events, do something constructive with the pent-up energy. Work it off with a long walk, or through some physical activity.

Getting the anger out of your system and cooling off for a day or two will leave you much better prepared to handle your reaction constructively.

4. Question. How do you eat an elephant? Answer - One bite at a time!

For people suffering from tension and anxiety, an ordinary day’s work can sometimes seem unbearable.

The load looks so great that you can hardly bring yourself to tackle even the things that most need to be done.

When that happens, remember that the feeling is only a temporary one, and that you can work your way out of it.

The surest way to do this is to take some deep breaths, take the most urgent tasks and focus on them first, one at a time, forgetting the rest for the time being.

Once you have settled down and achieved something, you will find that the rest of your tasks will be much easier to achieve.

If you feel you cannot tackle things in this way, then be kind to yourself and take time to reflect why.

5. Catch if you are a Perfectionist

Some people expect too much of themselves and get into a constant state of worry and anxiety because they think they are not achieving as much as they should. They try for perfection in everything they do. Admirable as it is to have high standards, it is an open invitation to failure when this is carried to extremes. Ask yourself, can you relate to this?

No one can be perfect in everything. Decide which things you do well, and then put effort into these. They will often turn out to be the things you most like to do, and hence those that give you most satisfaction.

Then if you must, tackle the things you cannot do so well.

Give them the best of your effort and ability, but do not take yourself to task too severely if the result falls short of perfection.

Give yourself a warm acknowledgment for the things you do well, but do not set yourself impossible targets for the everything you attempt.

Relish the relief of this new self-awareness.

Can you be gentle with yourself instead of harsh?

6. Do something for someone else

If you feel that you are worrying about yourself and your reaction to a life event all the time, try doing something for someone else. You will find that this will help you forget about your own worries, even just for a short while, and even better- it will give you a warm and comforting feeling inside.

7. Don’t be too critical

Some people expect too much of others, and then feel frustrated, let down and disappointed, when another person does not measure up to their own high standards. Ask yourself if you are attempting to mould this person to suit yourself?

Explore your expectations with the aim of gaining a better understanding of yourself.

8. If feeling disconnected - make yourself available

Are you feeling left out, neglected, or rejected? Often, we just imagine that other people feel like this about us. It maybe we, not the others, who are depreciating ourselves.

Instead of shrinking away and withdrawing, ask yourself if you can make yourself more available?

9. Play Hard

Many people drive themselves so hard they find it hard to relax.

If this applies to you, a planned ‘play hard’ routine may help. Set yourself definite hours when you can completely engage with an activity that you can throw yourself into! While you are doing this, you should make a positive effort to completely forget all about your worries. You will find that if you can do this, you will return to your responsibilities with renewed enthusiasm, drive, and initiative.

10. Consider talking to a Counsellor/ Psychotherapist

If you have been feeling unhappy, sad, frustrated, or confused and are unsure what to do, consider talking to a Counsellor/ Psychotherapist to help you reflect on your situation.

Expressing your feelings to another person in a confidential space will help break the isolation and relieve some of the tension.

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