Problem Solving to Manage Stress
Problem solving helps you overcome complex stressful events.
Identify all aspects of a stressful event, including 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 difficulty sleeping.
You can then find coping strategies, such as talking with others about your feelings of anger or depression.
- Thinking of as many solutions as you can, even if they seem very difficult to accomplish.
- Not criticizing any solution.
- Combining solutions.
Evaluate your alternatives and choose the best one. 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. Determine the steps you need to take and act.
Current as of: December 16, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health