Problem-Solving to Manage Stress
Problem-solving can help you overcome complex stressful events. Here are the basic steps you can use.
- 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 others about your feelings of anger or depression.
- 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.
- 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.
- Act on the best option.
Figure out the steps you need to take, and then act.
Current as of: February 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health