Problem Solving to Manage Stress

Topic Overview

Problem solving helps you overcome complex stressful events.

Identify all aspects of a stressful event, including behaviour, thoughts, and feelings. For example, if you have just been laid off from your job, you need to identify:

  • Behaviours, 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.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Steven E. Locke, MD - Psychiatry, Behavioral Health
Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health

Current as ofDecember 7, 2017

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

Thanks to our partners and endorsers: