Taking control: Stress: how not to cope

People under stress usually try to escape in one way or another but sometimes the mode of escape turns out to be a prison in itself. Workaholism, drugs and alcohol are the obvious "wrong turnings" but here, from Stop the World, are some others:

Escapism: getting away - moving house, jobs or marriages - does not work if you don't face the real problem.

Fantasy: living life in a day-dream allows us to avoid responsibilities.

Phobias: causes great distress but can also divert from your real anxiety.

Hypochondria: gives you a lot to talk about and often masks anxieties that may not be as acceptable to admit to.

Rationalisation: lets you tell everybody all the good reasons for what has happened - except the real one.

Competitiveness: if you take winning too seriously you can end up suffering from "achievement anxiety" where anything other than complete success is a failure.

Perfectionism: creates a vicious cycle of stress.

Romanticism and/or nostalgia: when you think the world really was (and ought to be) rose-coloured.

Martyrdom: our attempt to manipulate others while never facing why we are hurt.

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