One of the most effective ways to manage stress is to develop resiliency, or the ability to bounce back from stressful situations. A key attribute of resilient people is that they are positive. Part of this positivity stems from surrounding themselves with positive people who provide an all-around sense of support. All it takes is one positive and supportive person in your life to help make your stressors feel more manageable. After reading these few sentences, you may be able to easily identify who that person is, or you may struggle to think about to whom you turn to most for support.
If you don’t have a support network currently in place, there are many people and resources from which you can pull to help add more positivity and support to your life. Support can take many forms – emotional, informational, companionship, or advocacy, to name a few – and it can come from a variety of people and places, including your family, friends, coworkers, online communities and chatrooms, places of worship, or professionals like your primary care doctor or a psychologist. It doesn’t matter to whom you turn for support – it just matters that you have someone with whom you can share your feelings.
It can be difficult to ask for help when you need it the most – you may be afraid, embarrassed, or concerned about burdening someone else – but you’ll be glad you did, as talking about your stressors and emotions can instantly make them seem more manageable. Without realizing it, you may also be helping your support person at the same time, as they will likely look to you as a source of support whenever they’re under stress.
In addition to the familiar sources of support discussed above, you may also want to consider taking advantage of other resources available to you, including your Employee Assistance Program (check with your health plan or www.mass.gov/gic for more information), the WellMASS portal, or books on stress management available at your local library. Whichever way you seek out information and support, know that it will help you on your journey to resiliency and more effective stress management.