Strategies To Help When Facing Stressful Situations

“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Whenever you may be feeling stressed out, overwhelmed or confronted with a stressful challenge; here are 10 strategies to help you successfully handle the situation: 

  • Stay Positive.  This is first and foremost in the process of facing stressful times.  Negative thinking will not help you whatsoever.  Make sure that you stay optimistic about the situation that you face.  Tell yourself statements like, “things will go fine and work out for the best”.  Even if you do not believe this or see any hope; say it anyway.  Verbalizing a positive statement has a very calming effect on your mind and emotions.
  • Keep Your Focus On What Matters. Don’t waste your time worrying about things that are not helpful and are probably only adding to your stress levels.  If you are struggling with stressful situations; it will be best for you to keep your thoughts on positive outcome you are trying to achieve.   Delegate responsibilities to others if you can and ask for help in completing stressful tasks.  Friends and family usually understand and do not mind stepping up to help during stressful times.  You’d do the same for them.  This kind of help is what makes the world a better place. Remember, sometimes the only thing someone can do for you during your stressful time is help out. Consider this their blessing to you.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” ~ William James

  • Don’t Dwell On The Obstacles. People commonly confuse themselves by believing that if they fully understand the problem then they will better understand the solution.  All this really does is help you understand how you got to where you are but it does not show you how to get to where you want to be.  It also makes your problems seem bigger because you are putting your energy into your problems instead of trying to find a solution.

    “If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you’ll die a lot of times.” ~ Dean Smith

  • Don’t Create Doomsday Scenarios. Don’t ask yourself all of the “what if’s”.  You can “what if” yourself to death.  Your imagination can be your greatest ally or it can be your worst enemy.  It is good to be prepared for stressful outcomes but you need to stay on top of your thoughts that are catastrophic in nature.  If you give these thoughts an inch, they will take a mile.

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” ~ Hans Selye

  • Quiet Your Internal Chatter. One of the simplest ways to quickly establish a sense of groundedness and reduce negative stress is through your physiology.  Pull your shoulders back.  Hold your head up.  Keep your eyes level or upward as opposed to downward.  Remember to breathe fully.  Use a well-modulated tone of voice.  These simple suggestions will greatly reduce the voice of doubt and fear that would otherwise consume you because they pull out the more confident aspects of yourself.


  • Embrace The Stress. Whenever you are faced with something new or a stressful situation, you will experience anxiety. There is no way around this fact.   It is up to you whether you run from this truth or try to accept it.  Rather than hope that stress will not show up; embrace the truth that it is always a part of growth and life.


  • Live In This Present Moment. This will give you an immediate sense of calmness because it separates you from the pain of your past and the worries of your future.  Living in the present will give you clarity and awareness that would otherwise be clouded with racing thoughts of negative interpretations of your past and imaginary concerns of possible outcomes in the future.  Take a deep breath and look around yourself and notice how by getting out of your head for a moment, the anxious thoughts will reduce in size and strength.

“Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.” ~ Robert Eliot

  • Remember The Serenity Prayer. ” God grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change.  Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  Why waste your time worrying about things that you cannot change or control.  Put your focus on the things you can do something about.

“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” ~ Winston Churchill

  • Take Action. Action Eliminates Doubt.  As you take steps of action; you move yourself closer to feelings of peace of mind.  This will help you do a better job of devising a positive plan of action.
  • Inform Yourself. Seek wisdom from the experts.  You live in a world where knowledge from others is at your fingertips.  Tap into this available resource and speed up your ability to figure out the options that are possible. Do a search of similar challenges on the internet and/or seek the guidance of someone who is trained in that area.

Facing Stressful Situations

“Your life is controlled by what you focus on. That’s why you need to focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear. When you find yourself in a state of uncertainty, resist your fear. Shift your focus toward where you want to go and your actions will take you in that direction.” ~ Anthony Robbins


Mark Webb is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice at South Georgia Psychiatric and Counseling Center in Valdosta. He is the author of How To Be A Great Partner. Mark has been in the field of helping individuals and couples since 1986. He has a vast amount of experience and he can have a very positive impact on your life and your relationship. If you are looking for individual or marriage counseling, please call his office in Valdosta, Georgia and his staff will help you set up an appointment.
South Georgia Psychiatric and Counseling Center
2704 N. Oak St. Blg B-3
Valdosta, Georgia 31602


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