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Stress, Coping, Compassion, and Understanding – Tips


Stress, Coping, Compassion, and Understanding – Tips

Stress is simply defined as – a state of emotional or mental strain resulting from difficult circumstances.

We have all felt stress at sometime in our lives.

Coping is simply defined as – how a person deals with something difficult.

We have all found ways to cope with stress in our lives.

Compassion is simply defined as – having care for others who are suffering from difficult circumstances.

We have all been compassionate towards people we know who were dealing with challenging circumstances.

Understanding is simply defined as – having awareness and tolerance for some situation.

We all have been understanding and shown tolerance.

Here are some helpful reminders and tips

  1. Everyone is different.  Care.
    1. While this is “common sense,” it is easy to forget.  Not everyone gets “stressed” by the same things.  Not everyone “copes” in the same ways.  Not everyone has the same level of “compassion.”  Not everyone is as “understanding” as we may like.
    2. Remember that people are doing the best they can even when it may feel they are not.
    3. REAL STORY:  I was at a store last night getting groceries.  The place was packed.  The person working the cash registers was visibly upset.  I said “thank you for being here and helping everyone out.”   They responded very angrily.  That person was doing the best they could.  As I left they said, “have a good night and sort of smiled.”  Remember that people are doing the best they can under stress.  Care.        
  2. Stress.
    1. Stress is personal.  Each person feels emotions differently based on circumstances – each person has different levels of what they feel is difficult or stressful.  Some things that are stressful for one person may not be stressful at all to another.  (example – on person is afraid of bananas – they feel stress when a banana is near.  another person is not – they don’t feel stress – just hungry).
    2. It is okay if a person is not stressed even if you are. 
    3. It is okay if a person is stressed and you are not.
    4. Please don’t “police” stress or create it by getting upset with another person because they don’t feel stress the way you do.
    5. REAL STORY:  I heard a person say to me – “I don’t understand why people are getting so stressed.”   I heard another person say to me (in the same hour) – “I don’t understand how people can not be more stressed?”  Stress is personal.  Don’t let others upset you based on whether they get stressed in the same way you do.  Stress is personal.
  3. Coping takes many forms.
    1. Some people cope by getting busy with work.  Some people cope by being with close friends and family.  Some people cope with faith.  Some people cope by diving into their art or personal interests.  Some people cope by getting upset.  Some people cope by finding humor in bad situations (not making fun of COVID-19, but just finding something in life to laugh about – listening to comedians to cheer themselves up).  Some people cope by running or exercising.  Some people cope by surfing the internet.  Some people cope by reading the news and staying connected with all the details.  The list goes on and on!
    2. Please remember that everyone is different.
    3. Please remember that everyone has a right to cope in a way that helps them.
    4. Please remember that you can understand (have tolerance) without having to agree.
    5. REAL STORY: I passed a person with a cart full of beer.  I looked at the beer and then at the person – they smiled and said – “I’m not going to be without beer as crap hits the fan.”  I smiled and laughed.  They smiled and nodded.  Later the same night – I was in the elevator with someone who was going to work out – this was their way of coping.   Coping may look very different from person to person. 
  4. Understanding.
    1. Remember that Understanding is simply that.  Understanding does not have to equal agreement.  It is possible to understand another person’s point of view without “having” to agree with it.
    2. REAL STORY: My daughter wants to visit her boyfriend out of state.  This is her way of coping.  I don’t agree with it, but I understand and have compassion for her point of view.    
  5. Make it safe for others – don’t force your preferences on others.
    1. This is a hard one.  Most of us know what works best for us.  When we do something that works, we want to share it with others.  That is great!
    2. Just be smart not to make another feel bad for how they cope with stress.
    3. Try not to force what works for you on them.
    4. Make it safe for them to cope in the ways they want/need to cope.
    5. REAL STORY: each of you knows how to make this real story a story worth telling – make it safe for others.  You do this every day at work. You do it by admiring each other’s differences and embracing those things that you see bring others joy.  Just be you.

It is okay to feel stress in stressful situations.

It is great to find a way to cope with stress – using what works for you.

Have care for others that are feeling stress – even if you are not.

Understand – be aware of others’ feelings and have tolerance for their feelings and how they best cope with stress.

Most of all, be yourself.  You are all so very amazing.  Improve people’s lives by being you.