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Problem Solving to Manage Stress - Topic Overview

Problem solving helps you overcome complex stressful events.

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

  • Behaviors, 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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: May 03, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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