How To Use R.E.S.T. To Improve Your Coping Strategy

- Or How To Stop Flipping Out About Everything

Dean J Murphy

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Man screaming on the phone for article How To Use R.E.S.T. To Improve Your Coping Strategy
Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

Many people are action-oriented. When confronted with a situation, they react without thinking. Often, this leads to feelings of guilt or regret for not handling a situation as well as you could have. If you have ever experienced these feelings, you need to learn R.E.S.T.

What is REST?

Relax

Evaluate

Set an intention

Take action

It is a simple system you can use to avoid poor coping strategies. Instead of lashing out or reacting impulsively, REST can help you get a handle on your emotions, allowing you to make better choices in the future.

Relax

If you are not reacting to something, you may hear someone tell you, “Don’t stand there! Do something!”

This is fine if someone is shooting at you or a situation is endangering life or limb. If this is not the situation, we want to turn it around — Don’t just do something. Stand there.

Whatever you would normally do without thinking is the problem. You want to prevent these impulsive decisions.

Just stop. Take a few breaths. Relax your body to relax your mind. Do not let the reptile brain take over.

Evaluate

Focus on what is going on. What is happening? Is anybody in real danger? Do you have to start shouting or warning people in the area?

You may feel emotionally unsafe, but it is important to recognize if you need to engage in fight or flight mode. In most cases fight, or flight is not necessary. There is at least one other option — make friends.

Set an intention

Now that you have calmed down — do not forget to breathe — and you know the facts, it is time to unfreeze and ask yourself, “What do I need right now?”

You do not need the answer to life itself. By the way, it is 42. You only need a healthy way to cope with the situation at hand.

Like breathing, acceptance of the things you can or can not change is important.

Take action

If you have gotten to this point, you are already ahead of most people. You did not lash out impulsively. You did not escalate the situation. You did not do something you will later have to apologize for or regret.

Take the win.

Practice makes perfect

Or at least better at handling stressful situations. If you practice REST, it will become easier. Eventually, it will be just like breathing.

Using REST the correct way is much better than:

Reacting violently

Enraging yourself

Slaying your enemies

Terrifying everyone around you

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