What can help you to navigate challenges independently?

There are many benefits to dealing with challenges on your own and be more independent. By handling things more independently, you develop and increase your own capability of problem solving, improve personal autonomy and freedom, and improved potential for mental health – All these help you grow to become more self reliant as you become more self capable and reduce the need for dependency on others (especially in situations where you unavoidably lack social support). Here are some key tactics and strategies to help you.

1] “Cognitive Restructuring”. It is a central technique in cognitive-behavioral therapy, aimed at identifying and transforming negative thoughts. This method helps patients recognize and reframe unhelpful or unrealistic thoughts into more positive and realistic ones. For instance, instead of thinking, “I can’t manage this,” you may shift your thoughts to, “This is challenging, but I can handle it.” This change in perspective can significantly reduce stress and anxiety, and helps you take a step forward in solving problems.

2] Mindfulness and the practice of meditation are strong positive ways to cope with stress. Being deeply present during mindfulness minimizes worrying about future happenings or reflecting on prior events which triggers fear. Research also shows that including meditative activities like mindfulness, decreases tension through relaxation promotion as well as better emotional control. It can also help train you to be more rational at approaching your problems. Regular practice can lead to long-term benefits in managing stress independently, which will lead to helping you to solve problems in your life more effectively. If you’re unsure how to start meditation; Try this simple form of meditation: Simply go for a walk in a quiet place in nature, and be aware of your thoughts. Walk slowly and mindfully, paying attention to each step. Focus on the sensation of your feet touching the ground, your breath, and your surroundings.

3a] Managing problems to help with easier problem solving: Try to split the situations of stress into more manageable parts – make ideas of implementation, and carry out the evaluation of each alternative solution. This helps reduce the feeling of overtaxing oneself and improve self-regulation. It may not be easy at the beginning, but it becomes easier with consistent practice.

3b] Better time management: Practice adopting better time management habits like arranging duties in order of importance, working with more reasonable time frames, and looking at complex duties as a composite of smaller ones. Use of things such as calendars, daily planners and task lists can make one cultivate an organized life thereby preventing possible stresses due to hurriedness.

4] Get physically active: Health professionals assures that regular exercise is an excellent way of relieving stress, as it is proven by science. Regular physical exercise tends to decrease levels of stress hormones in the body, while boosting the production of endorphins (natural mood elevators). Taking part in exercises that make your body move and perform with variety of movements and varied intensity, can certainly assist in not only reducing pressure, but also improving cognitive functions (think better, clearer, etc), and ultimately, improved well being.

5] Do not completely neglect social support: Although independence is the main theme here, it is also necessary to appreciate the significance of social support. Developing and sustaining a system of supportive relationships can deliver both practical and emotional help at difficult times. One can still find it useful to ask for counsel from one’s close friends or mentors while overcoming obstacles alone. Train yourself to be capable alone, but where possible – improve your social support. Humans are social creatures after all. The whole purpose of this article is to help you become more self-capable when the need arises.

6] Adopting a healthy lifestyle is integral to stress management. Maintain a balanced healthy diet, get adequate sleep, and avoid excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol. Good nutrition and sufficient rest are critical for maintaining the body’s resilience to stress. Don’t forget to give yourself down time as much as you work on improving yourself – down time does contribute a lot to your growth too. In summary for this; keeping a healthy lifestyle is important for managing stress and helping you grow – healthy diet, enough sleep, exercise, manage things well, work efficiently, and get enough down time.. don’t forget to live life! (have fun, relax).

7] Self-compassion involves being kind and supportive to yourself when feeling under pressure. Accept that stress is a natural part of life, and that every one struggles through difficulties, instead of just being overly critical.. because you will lower feelings of inadequacy and self-blame yourself unnecessarily. It makes it simpler to deal with stressful situations if one has self-compassion thus enhancing emotional toughness and hopeful way out in life.

In conclusion, managing stress alone requires a diversified approach that entails cognitive, behavioural, and lifestyle tactics. Once incorporated in our lives, such techniques enable one to become better in managing stress and dealing with life’s challenges without depending on others, thereby enhancing their own capabilities, mental health status and their general welfare.

Article written by both our advisor, Dr T, a MBBS doctor, with extensive experience in psychology, and Glen – See “Team” page.