Quick stress relief: The first core conflict resolution skill
Being able to manage and relieve stress in the moment is the key to staying balanced, focused, and in control, no matter what challenges you face. If you don’t know how to stay centered and in control of yourself, you will become overwhelmed in conflict situations and unable to respond in healthy ways.
Psychologist Connie Lillas uses a driving analogy to describe the three most common ways people respond when they’re overwhelmed by stress:
- Foot on the gas. An angry or agitated stress response. You’re heated, keyed up, overly emotional, and unable to sit still.
- Foot on the brake. A withdrawn or depressed stress response. You shut down, space out, and show very little energy or emotion.
- Foot on both gas and brake. A tense and frozen stress response. You “freeze” under pressure and can’t do anything. You look paralyzed, but under the surface you’re extremely agitated.
Stress interferes with the ability to resolve conflict by limiting your ability to:
- Accurately read another person’s nonverbal communication
- Hear what someone is really saying
- Be aware of your own feelings
- Be in touch with your deep-rooted needs
- Communicate your needs clearly
Is stress a problem or you?
You may be so used to being stressed that you’re not even aware you are stressed. Stress may be a problem in your life if you identify with the following:
- You often feel tense or tight somewhere in your body
- You’re not aware of movement in your chest or stomach when you breathe
- Conflict absorbs your time and attention
Learn how to beat stress in the moment
The best way to rapidly and reliably relieve stress (if you don’t have someone close at hand to talk to) is through the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. But each person responds differently to sensory input, so you need to find things that are soothing to you.
Resource – HelpGuide.org