Living with it

Is there ONE way to cope with stress?

No. Because each of us is different, there is no one "correct" way to cope with stress. Also, depending on the "stressor", some coping strategies (e.g. confronting a person) may be more appropriate than others (e.g. avoiding the person). See Déjouer le stress 1.3 for more details.


Shouldn’t we pay more attention to the causes of stress and work harder to live better and accept our stress?

Yes, it is important to address the reasons that make us interpret a situation as stressful.  There are 4 ingredients in which our brain interprets a situation as being stressful: Novelty, Unpredictability, Threat to the ego and Sense of Control (N.U.T.S). When we identify a situation that stresses us chronically (ex: being stuck in traffic each morning), managing that stressor consists of indentifying its ingredients. ‘I am stressed because I do not have control over the situation and I my ego is threatened because my colleagues are impatiently waiting for me to arrive for an important meeting.’ One you have indentified the ingredients, you must ask yourself how to reduce their effects. Finally, to manage your stress, you must be able to indentify what causes your stress.

Is it possible to eliminate all forms of stress?

No, it is important to understand that stress is essential to the survival of our species. It is due to the stress system that we are able to run in incidences of fire or survive in front of many potentially dangerous situations. We cannot eliminate all the stressors of our environment. But, by learning to identify what causes our stress, we can decrease the impact that stress has on our heath.

See the sections Understand your stress and Trick your stress for more information.

What is the first step in coping with stress?

Identify WHAT the problem is. Is it your job, school, money worries, or your relationship that is causing you stress? Make sure there are no unimportant surface problems masking the deeper ones.

See Trick your stress to learn more.

Is screaming a good way to fight stress?

Using the diaphragm by doing the “belly” breathing technique, by singing, or even by praying can help us halt the stress response of our body. Screaming can help release psychological tension but will not have the same effect as the “belly” breathing technique since there will not be any repetitive movement of the diaphragm.


What is the best way to manage stress for a competitive athlete?

It does not matter who we are, the recipe for stress is always the same. In order to better manage our stress, we need to indentify the sources of our stress and work them out. For example, for a performing athlete, it is important to be well trained and to have good mental preparation (know your opponents, the courses, the schedule of the runs, etc.). This will contribute, whiteout a doubt, to increasing the sense of control of the athlete and will also decrease unpredictability.

See Recipe of stress and Trick your stress for more details.