September 24, 2018

How to Cope with Stress – the CPR Method – a 3 Part Series

Written by Alex Thompson

Stress has become a common symptom a lot of us face on a daily basis. From a clinical background, the experience of stress could be a symptom of anxiety or depression. But it can also just be a symptom of the times that we live in. We are all multi-tasking and everything we do is high-intensity. It is not enough to be doing one thing, we need to be doing 10 things all at once.

However, not to be taken lightly, it is the body’s way of saying that you are in danger. The brain senses the feeling of being stressed out caused by the sudden onset of feeling uncomfortable, overwhelmed, or fearful.

We want to discuss a method we use to reduce stress. We call it, CPR.

The first letter of the acronym is “C” which stands for contain.

When you begin to experience the feelings of stress, it becomes difficult to contain a situation. Especially if you are a deeply empathetic person who absorbs other people’s emotions and problems easily. During this time, it is important to not absorb everything like a sponge. Imagine yourself building walls around you to keep your distance from the stress. You are in a safe space that will not allow the external factors to penetrate.

For example, when you are having a chat over coffee with your best friend and she starts to talk ill about her husband you need to apply the first letter of the CPR acronym “c for contain”. Analyze the situation, just because your friend is upset with her spouse, does not mean you also have to hold the same resentment for your partner or feel feelings of anger. Her feeling are valid, but take a moment to think and ask yourself “do I also feel this way?” If the answer is no, do not activate your sponge-absorbing powers. Instead, strengthen your emotional boundaries. Be there for your friend, but do not share the emotions and let it take over you. Her story is not yours.

No matter what the circumstances, try to contain the situation. Analyze it, but do not absorb it – build the walls to protect yourself.

In our next blog post, we will discuss the next letter in the acronym CPR. Be sure to return to learn what the letter P stands for, how it can be used to manage stress, and how the entire method works together.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health and substance use disorders, contact us today.