We all want to know how to manage stress, how to control and how to regulate ourselves. For this it is important to understand that there is a difference between self-regulation and self-control. Self-regulation refers to the ability to restore our well being even if we feel bad sometimes. It refers to an emotional flexibility of returning to a natural state of well-being, it is alos about having the ability to easily overcome moments of anger, having the ability to release the emotional tension through crying, art,discussion or other healthy way. People with good self-regulation rarely loose their temper, they are not very often overwhelmed (dangerous and traumatic situations are excluded here) and manage to find internal and healthy methods to return to a general state of well being. Self-control implies the ability to control, to abstain. A person who controls himself very well does not mean that he regulates himself. Depending on how much this self-control can be exercised, it can become better and better, but it does not imply a general well-being or balance. A very angry man who refrains from punching someone, but who stays angry is not a man who can adjust his emotions. A man who manages to adress his anger assertively and easily calms himself is a man who can adjust. And we refer to the internal calming capacity and not to the effects of substances or other artificial methods.

The self-regulation of humans is built in the first years of life according to the co-regulation that the baby makes with his mother. A baby cannot adjust himself and this is why his mother needs to calm him down when he cries, to help him calm down when he is angry, to accept his emotions and expression, to stay with him unconditionally, to give him warmth, safety and comfort when experiencing negative emotions. This is one of the best methods of co-regulation. Therefore, if you have problems with self-regulation in adult life, that means that the co-regulation was not a very happy in your early childhood. Therefore, in a psychotherapy, a co-regulation is practiced until the self-regulation develops in the client’s psyche. This is the most organic and efficient method.

What can you do?

Apart from psychotherapy, there are small techniques that can help to calm down, to connect with the present moment and with the self. Some of these techniques are breathing techniques. Always the dee abdominal breathing calms the body and as a consequence the psychic. By breathing the pulse decreases, the tension decreases as well, the brain is oxygenated better, the muscles relax and the cortisol secretion is decreased. Another thing you can do is to eat healthy. However as simple as it may seem to you this method is absolutely essential. Energy is much more consumed in times of stress and you need to constantly restore energy reserves. Healthy eating at fixed times will bring you more energy and strength. Meditations done before sleep are also effective.
Because stress causes problems of sleep and rest, it is necessary to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to enter into a state of relaxation and regeneration. Meditations that focus on the present and the body as well as other things meant to bring relaxation can make a real difference regarding the overnight sleep. Meditation is indicated even in the morning, before leaving home, because it induces a state of calm, the parasympathetic nervous system remains active and then the perception, thoughts, attention will be positively influenced by the parasympathetic system and may contribute to maintaining a much relaxed state.

Once the diet, the sleep and the breathing techniques are in place, things are simplified in stress management. The next thing you can do is to carefully analyze what you think about the situation. Maybe you perceive the danger a little higher than it actually is, maybe you forgot about the times when the boss could be calm and not just aggressive, or during the wait for the analysis you may omit that you have a general well-being or that your problem is not so alarming. Regardless of the situation you have, it is possible that you have a distorted perception of reality and that you create a state of fear and stress. I wan to mention that i don’t talk about techniques that go in depth but about some things that you can do on your own to bring improvements. Thoughts and emotions are interdependent. A state gives birth to a thought that maintains the state and a thought gives birth to a state that maintains the thought and leads to even more thoughts and states form the same category. It is very important to look at the way we think and then to verify the reality as objectively as possible. Are things as serious as we think they are? There are only as many options as I have found so far and nothing more? Is there any help that i can get?

Finding resources is another way of coping with stress. After you analyze your situation you can start thinking about solutions, about the options that you have. In the end, what you want is to be more relaxed and efficient, eventually to be able to detach yourself from the troubling situation when you are not actively working on it. This is why you can think of such situations in the past. Maybe in some of them you managed to be more relaxed and detached. How did you do then? What helped you? If you can’t manage to find a similar situation where you have been more relaxed, think about people you know and have succeeded in that. Maybe even your co-workers or family members have this ability to cope with stress in a more relaxed manner. What do you know about how do they do this? Can you ask them? One solution would be to hold “small interviews” in which to ask them how they do it. Maybe you will get a new perspective from which to look at things and to completely change your condition or maybe you will find new tools.

Sport will always bring more relaxation and decrease the stress response. Besides sleep, healthy eating, abdominal breathing if you manage to add sport, stress will certainly not be a consistent part of your life.

These techniques, once applied, should produce results as quickly as possible. If you are in the situation where you apply and nothing works then it is advisable to take into account the chronic stress and check if what you feel has a deeper layer than you thought. In this situation it is necessary to consult a psychologist with whom to discover the causes of your stress.

Discover more about the connection between mind and body, how psychotherapy can help you overcome a difficult period or childhood trauma, how to better manage emotions and how to keep stress under control. Browse the information on the site and send the contact form to PsihoHelp with your message or questions, either to make your appointment.