How to Diffuse the Most Stressful Situations

Stress affects the very fibers of your body. For example, telomeres in our DNA are like the banding at the end of your shoelaces: They are protective casings at the end of the DNA strands. Well, guess what damages and frays those telomeres? Stress. So the saying is true: Stress can eat you alive. 

Stressful situations can be as intimate as family relationships or as random as an auto accident. Diffusing those situations can help immediately as well as in the long run. Sometimes you can diffuse these situations; sometimes you can call in professionals. Ever wonder what happens at mediation for an auto accident?

Stress management is essential to self-care. Read on to find out techniques you can practice today, as well as some indications it’s time for professional help.

Ground Yourself

If you’ve ever flown, you have heard the advice, ”Put your own oxygen mask on before helping someone else with theirs.” You can apply the same advice in every crisis. You will be no help to others if you are incapacitated yourself.

To apply this concept to your stressful situation, take control of your body’s stress response and get your heart and mind working in alignment. Find your flow. It can start as simple as focusing your attention on tangible things around you.

Use your senses. What do you see, taste, smell, and feel? Grounding to the moment will move your focus off the perceived threat and on to reality. If you can capture your thoughts out of “fight or flight” mode, your logical and problem-solving mind can speak up.  

Help Those Around

Once you handle your response, you can help others’ stress responses. Even though your situation might be extremely aggravating and the other people around you may seem completely irrational, try to put yourself in their shoes.

Recognizing their knee-jerk response as a fight-or-flight mindset can help you empathize and make you a more effective negotiator. Empathy and humility do not turn you into a doormat, but they help you rise above the immediate stress. Help yourself see the forest through the trees.

Much like using an emergency tarp to provide temporary repair for your roof, using tools that are readily available to you at the moment can save you. Keeping your personal stress under control can prevent long-term emotional damage to yourself and the opposite party. 

Call Professional Help

Even in the clearest moments and with the best intentions, you can find yourself spiraling into a damaging cycle with another person or a situation. In these cases, a third-party objective mediator can be extremely helpful.

One of the most stressful experiences can be when a disagreement turns into a legal battle. In these situations, it is imperative to find some professional help. Of course, lawyers are the first professionals that come to mind, but mediators can also be a valuable (and cost-effective) resource.

Using a mediator does not legally bind you in any way. However, mediators are trained to arrive at satisfactory resolutions; it’s literally their job. So, come to the table assuming they want to help. Allow yourself to compromise, but not at the expense of your ultimate goal. Do your homework before mediation to be confident and reasonable in your goals.

You don’t have to agree to anything if it doesn’t sit well with you. Hiring an attorney for an insurance claim is a great idea even if you are going through mediation. They can offer counsel and confidence that the offered resolution is superior to an official legal battle.

Diffuse Stressful Situations

Ultimately, your personal response to a stressful altercation can provoke or mitigate drastic legal action. In addition, keeping a grounded, clear-thinking mind can protect your own well-being and clarity. 

Your healthy stress response can prevent worse physical and emotional trauma in the long run. Of course, resiliency is a lifelong pursuit, but retraining your mind’s auto-response system has immediate benefits. There are multiple approaches to this training, and it is well worth educating yourself on available resources.

Stress is a hot topic these days. Just look at Japan’s legal action enforcing paid vacation time. The mental health crisis facing our post-pandemic world is profound. 

If you find yourself in a mediation situation, recognize signals that your gut is giving you and analyze the validity of your doubts. Mediation is not legally binding and should leave both parties with a favorable outcome.

Maria Hanson writes and researches for the free legal advice site, She is passionate about empowering individuals to navigate legal issues confidently and competently.

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