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Legatus Magazine

Susan Locke | author
Jan 01, 2019
Filed under Your Health

Reducing stress hinges on individual resilience

It’s 2019 – a New Year! A popular resolution made at this time of year is to “reduce the stress in my life.” The solution is not simple; stress or what is perceived as stressful varies from person to person

One’s ability to adapt to stressful situations and crises is often referred to as emotional resilience. Although it is thought that we are born with a certain degree of emotional resilience, it is also something that can be developed. The more emotional resilience you have, the better you can cope with the stress in your life.

Characteristics of emotional resilience:

Emotional awareness • the ability to understand what you are feeling and why you are feeling it
Perseverance • focus on being action oriented to move beyond stress
Internal locus of control • believe that you have the power to control events and outcomes, not external forces
Optimism • see positives in situations and believe in your strengths
Support • have a strong network and supportive friends and family members
Sense of humor • maintain levity amid life’s highs and lows
Perspective • learn from mistakes and see obstacles as challenges
Spirituality • often associated with stronger emotional resilience

The first step in stress management is to accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it.

The 4 A’s of dealing with stressful situations

Avoid unnecessary stress

  • Learn to say “no”
  • Avoid people who stress you out
  • Take control of your environment
  • Shorten your to-do list
  • Prioritize – distinguish between must do and should do

Alter the situation

  • Express your feelings
  • Be willing to compromise
  • Be more assertive
  • Manage your time better

Adapt to the stressor

  • Reframe the problem
  • Look at the big picture
  • Adjust your standards – perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress
  • Focus on the positives

Accept the things you cannot change

Remember to make time for fun and relaxation and adapt healthy lifestyles. Connect with others, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, reduce caffeine, sugar, and alcohol, avoid cigarettes and recreational drugs, and get enough sleep

Please visit Prescription for a Better Life by Susan Locke, M.D., at

If you would like more information about Healthnetwork Foundation and how we can advocate for you, please call or email us today.

SUSAN LOCKE is Healthnetwork Foundation’s medical director.


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