3 ways to manage stress through self-reflection

In addition to various recommended types of behavioral stress management — including regular exercise and getting enough sleep — David Brendel, MD, PhD, recommends engaging in self-reflection to manage daily stress.

Dr. Brendel, who works as a career consultant and philosophical counselor, recommends three modes of managing stress through self-awareness, according to the Harvard Business Review.

1. Remember your core strengths and resources. Instead of panicking when confronted with a tough situation, Dr. Brendel suggests focusing on ultimate life goals and utilizing existing skills to achieve them. Then, "humbly seek and accept help from others [and] maintain an open mind about next steps."

2. Think about your life philosophy. By asking his clients open-ended questions about their life philosophy, Dr. Brendel helps them "define the fundamental values and goals that underlie their careers and personal life decisions." By developing and clarifying a life philosophy, people can define how to embrace goals and values despite stressful situations.

3. Engage in self-reflection daily. Whether by journaling or finding a specific time to reflect, making self-reflection a daily habit can provide a way to build up calming techniques during stressful times. "Everyone can benefit from this kind of disciplined and sustained self-reflection — both as a good thing in itself and as a powerful stress management tool," wrote Dr. Brendel.

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