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Problem Solving to Manage Stress

Problem Solving to Manage Stress

Topic Overview

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.

Brainstorm by:

  • 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.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Last Revised April 20, 2011

Last Revised: April 20, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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