Keeping Perspective for Stress Relief

Feel like you're spiraling? Read tips for staying calm, even when life gets stressful.

It can be easy to jump to the worst-case scenario. Something bad or unexpected happens in your life, and a natural instinct is to immediately think the worst. That thought process can trigger waves of anxiety, increased stress, even panic. 

Fight that urge and try to avoid jumping to conclusions. Mindfulness means being very aware of what you’re sensing and feeling. It can help you keep things in perspective. It can also help you feel calmer and more in control of your emotions and actions. Practicing mindfulness gives you space to choose how you react to a situation.

How to Practice Keeping Things in Perspective Using Mindfulness

  • Start noticing your thoughts.

    That’s the first step to feeling more in control. Ask yourself, what am I thinking about? How does my body feel?

  • Stay curious about your thoughts.

    Try not to judge your emotions. It’s normal to feel stressed, anxious or worried in life. This is especially true if you are quitting some form of tobacco or have a child you think is doing something dangerous.

  • Find facts before jumping to conclusions.

    Find something that makes you worry that your teen is vaping? Pause before you talk to them about it. Ask questions rather than accuse. Worried about a new health issue you’re experiencing since quitting? Talk to a doctor, pharmacist, or ask others in the EX Community about their experiences.

  • Lead with love.

    Being kind to yourself will help you quit and stay quit. You’re making a major life change and it won’t always feel easy. Celebrate your victories, no matter how small. If your child is vaping, chances are that nicotine has a strong hold on them. Remember, you’re not going to yell or punish them out of addiction.

What If It Doesn’t Work?

Still having a hard time? Here are a few things that can help when you find yourself imagining the worst:

  • Grounding and deep breathing can be useful in helping you feel prepared to handle what comes your way.
  • Try to maintain a curious mindset. Think of every situation as an opportunity to learn, grow, and evolve your relationship with yourself and others in your life.
  • If you suspect or know your child is vaping, focus on sharing information your teen might not know.
  • Acknowledge that sometimes your fears may be true. Maybe your child is vaping. Remind yourself that blaming them will only push them away. Help them get help instead.

Imagining the worst case scenario and panicking are the most common reactions to stress. The good news is that with a little practice, you can override these reactions and calm your body and mind. You’ll be prepared and ready to tackle whatever comes at you.