Counsellor’s Article “How to Cope with Stress Well”

While COVID restrictions of the pandemic continue to be eased, the future situation remains still uncertain. Our state of mind tends to be impacted by gloomy news coming in from home and abroad such as worsening social and economic problems caused by the pandemic and damages caused by natural disasters. In fact, there are plenty of sources of stress in our daily lives – adjusting to changes in our lives over the past few years, as well as relationships within and around our homes and workplaces are just a few of the examples.  

As Counselor Kuge mentioned in the last newsletter article, having a balanced sense of self-acceptance and self-affirmation is especially important to be able to cope well with stress. Have you ever heard of the term resilience? Resilience is the ability to bounce back from external stress and overcome barriers, or the mental tolerance to cope with stress. Stress resilience means the ability to withstand stress, or the ability to resist how you feel and cope with stressful events. 

People who are resilient and with high-stresses tolerance are said to have positive self-esteem, stable attachment relationships with family or close friends, a sense of humor, optimism, and good interpersonal skills. What are some of the things we can do to become better able to cope with stress and improve stress tolerance? 

Accept yourself when you feel stressed: When you are faced with a problem that is beyond your control, be aware of the stress you are feeling and accept the fact that you are in a stressed state, rather than avoiding it. 

Change the way you perceive stress: Depending on the stress you are facing, if possible, look at the significance, meaning, and value of the stress you are experiencing.  Try to change your perspective of stress as meaningful to your life and growth or try to see it as something that helps you grow by working hard and achieving your goals. 

Share your opinions and feelings: If you refrain from expressing your opinions and feelings and keep them inside you, stress will build up. Sharing what you are feeling may create an opportunity to receive help and advice from others. Confiding in others about your problems will also help you feel better. 

Make your body more resilient to stress: Moderate exercise, stretching such as yoga, getting enough sleep and rest, and eating a well-balanced diet will all help to build a healthy body and increase your stress tolerance. 

Separate what you can control from what you cannot: Try to avoid reacting emotionally to what you cannot control. 

Stop being a perfectionist: When we strive for perfection, we tend to focus on what we are not able to do. Instead, try to focus on what you can do now and try to be flexible by adjusting your goals and approaches. 

Find ways to relieve stress: Find ways to refresh yourself when your stress level is high. Get help from a reliever that you can enjoy, such as eating food you like, exercising, having time to devote to a hobby, breathing exercises, meditation, or simply just resting. 

Too much stress can cause a variety of mental and physical ailments. If you feel that you cannot manage on your own, do not suffer alone. Consult with those around you whom you trust. You can also contact Japanese Social Services to talk to the counsellor. You can reach JSS counsellor at 416-385-9200 or