Stress Reduction for Working Well, Part III

Sheila Lynch is a Master’s student in Steinhardt’s Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness Program. She also works at the Wasserman Center front desk where she’s probably helped you log in for an event or appointment. Here, she offers the second in a three-part series for managing stress. Check out Part One here and Part Two here. Be sure to scroll all the way through to check out the latest selections in the Wasserman Center Playlist.

  • Step 3: Take action! Now that you’ve done the evaluation, what can you do to directly impact the stressor(s) or cope with the effects of the stress? Think of the 4 R’s:

Resolve. Reduce. Rethink & React.

    • Resolve: Do you have a lot of control over your stressors? Can you resolve it so it no longer produces negative effects? For example…
      • Stressor: Midterm paper due next week. Pages completed: 0
      • Resolve it: Get it off your plate and out of your mind! Break the paper down into smaller tasks: research, outline, write, edit, print. Keep breaking it down into manageable chunks. Make a list and give yourself a deadline for each item. Then start crossing things off, one at a time.
    • Reduce: Even when we don’t have complete control over our stressors, we may be able to reduce their negative effects by taking action to directly impact the stressor in some way. For example…
      • Stressor: Getting to work late via subway. Panic sets in every morning as you sit below ground unable to communicate to your boss that the train is running sooo sloooowly.
      • Reduce it: Leave earlier! If you’re regularly late, it’s time to re-evaluate how much time you need to get to work. Trains will be trains and we need to allow extra time for delays. Extreme delays and sick passengers are a part of using public transportation that we cannot control, but we can impact how many times we hit the snooze button each morning.
    • Rethink & React: Sometimes there is very little we can do to impact our stressors directly in a significant way. When this is the case, it can be helpful to rethink the situation and take action by deciding how you will react. Some ways of doing that are…
      • Finding acceptance: “I can’t control this situation, and that’s okay.”
      • Future-thinking: “The semester ends in three weeks!”
      • Coping: “I can’t avoid this interview, but I can still reduce my anxiety by…”
        • Talking with a friend, family member, or trusted colleague
        • Talking to a professional:


Desalina Allen, Senior Assistant Director: “River of Dreams” by Billy Joel is a stress-reducer that always takes me back to childhood.

Tara Schwartz, Assistant Director: Oasis’ “Wonderwall”

Rachel Frint, Assistant Director Wasserman Center SCPS: “Samson” by Regina Spektor.

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