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5 Steps to Managing Your Stress Level

Feeling tense, anxious, or worried? There are steps you can take to manage your stress level and find the best ways to cope.

We asked Dr. Sharp, MDLIVE’s Chief Behavioral Health Officer, his advice for developing a stress management plan.

1) Take inventory of the stresses in your life.

“Stress is a part of life,” says Dr. Sharp. “Everyone is dealing with it all the time.” Start by identifying the kinds of stresses you encounter every day, whether it’s managing deadlines at work or keeping your kids on track at school.

2) Next, list the ways you typically manage stress.

There isn’t just one way – everyone handles stress in different ways at different times. Do you count to ten? Take a relaxing bath? Eat a chocolate sundae? “Don’t worry yet about judging what you’re writing down,” says Dr. Sharp. “Just start with an honest list.”

“A short, one-time consult with someone about how to manage stress and adapt to life changes you might be experiencing can have a significant positive impact on your health and well-being.”

“A short, one-time consult with someone about how to manage stress and adapt to life changes you might be experiencing can have a significant positive impact on your health and well-being.”

3) Decide which strategies work and which don’t.

“Now go through your list and decide which stress management techniques are healthy and beneficial and which ones aren’t,” says Dr. Sharp. What do you want to keep doing, and what would you like to stop? For example, yelling at your spouse or kids might help you deal with stress by blowing off some steam in the short-term, but it might also have a very negative impact on your long-term relationships. Taking a yoga class to decompress, on the other hand, could benefit both your stress level and fitness.

4) Get objective feedback.

“It can be very helpful to talk to a neutral third party about your coping strategies and the stresses you’re facing,” Dr. Sharp told us. “People think talking to a therapist means you’re signing up for a long course of therapy, but that’s not necessarily the case. A short, one-time consult with someone about how to manage stress and adapt to life changes you might be experiencing can have a significant positive impact on your health and well-being.” Breakthrough, an MDLIVE company, provides behavioral health therapists who can help you develop tools and techniques to better manage stress and find healthier ways to channel it.

5) Put your healthy stress management plan into action.

Once you’ve identified the best ways to manage the stresses in your life, you can begin developing a happier and healthier perspective. And if you find you need more support or are struggling, your therapist at Breakthrough will always be just a call or video chat away.

Seeking help through therapy can be intimidating, but with a telehealth solution like Breakthrough behavioral health services, finding someone to talk to can be easier and more affordable than ever. It’s a safe, private, convenient way to talk to someone in the comfort of your own home, whether you just need help to get through a rough patch or you’re looking for long-term, regular therapy to overcome a bigger issue or challenge.


jsharp

Dr. John Sharp

Chief Behavioral Health Officer, MDLIVE

Dr. Sharp has over 20 years of experience as a board-certified psychiatrist. In addition to his work with MDLIVE, he serves on the faculty at both Harvard Medical School and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and writes for Psychology Today and The Huffington Post. An award-winning educator and best-selling author, Dr. Sharp is also an elected member of The American College of Psychiatrists and served as a standing member of the Examining Committee of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He has been voted by his peers for inclusion in Best Doctors in America for the past seven years in a row. Dr. Sharp received his M.D. from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.


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Jeremy Bernabe