7 Ways to Deal with the Stress from Bullying

Learn how to respond to stress in effective ways


Everyone experiences stress at times. Sometimes stress is beneficial because it can be instrumental in helping you develop the skills you need to adapt to new situations. But stress caused by consistent bullying can overwhelm your ability to take care of yourself.

In fact, chronic stress has been linked to all sorts of problems including everything from weight gain to high blood pressure and diabetes.

As a result, it is extremely important that you find healthy ways to cope with stress.

Coping effectively with stress can help put the bullying into perspective and help the stress subside. Here are seven ways to deal with the stress caused by bullying.

Take care of yourself. Targets of bullying sometimes face a host of health issues including sleeplessness, stomach issues, headaches and more. They also may deal with post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety issues, eating disorders and even thoughts of suicide.

Be sure to talk to your doctor about any symptoms you are experiencing. Remember, being targeted by a bully does more than impact your mood or self-esteem. It also can impact your physical health.

Finally, be sure to eat healthy meals, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. You want to do everything you can to alleviate stress because allowing yourself to become too stressed out will take its toll on you physically.

Talk to others. When bullying occurs, it is not uncommon to feel like you are the problem. Constant criticism, rumors, lies and gossip can take its toll on self-esteem leaving you feeling lonely, vulnerable and worthless. But remember, you are not alone.

Find a friend you can talk with who will validate your feelings and can empathize with your situation.

If you don’t have a friend you can trust, talk with a parent, a teacher, a doctor or a pastor.  Or, you might look for a support group in your area. The key is to find someone you can be honest with about what you are experiencing. Having someone to talk with will go a long way in relieving stress.

Focus on the things you can change. Remember, bullying is a choice and you cannot control another person’s choice. But you can change your reaction. Instead of trying to control things that are uncontrollable, identify the best ways to take action.

For instance, focus on setting goals and working toward accomplishing them. You also might want to evaluate how you spend your time and what you spend your money on. These two things – time and money – can exacerbate the stress you are already feeling. But you have control over them, so make some changes if you need to.

Remember, there will be times when the stress from bullying can feel paralyzing. That’s why it is so important to do what is within your power.

Doing so will be empowering and invigorating. It also will improve your mood and your self-esteem.

Do something you enjoy. Sometimes the key to managing stress is to fill your free time with activities that you enjoy. Whether it is a sport, music, art or volunteering, be sure you carve out time to do the things you love. Not only will you get enjoyment from the activities, but you also will be better able to manage stress if your mood has been lifted by a favorite pastime.

If you can’t think of something that you enjoy doing, then take up a hobby that will enrich your world. Experiment with a variety of activities to find something that’s especially meaningful and fulfilling.

Engage in positive self-talk. Self-talk is an effective way to deal with stress. Everyone talks to themselves at some point in their lives. But self-talk is not always positive, especially for people who have been bullied.

In fact, when bullying is ongoing, victims will often repeat the same negative messages to themselves. For instance, they might say to themselves “I am so stupid,” or “I’m such a loser.” This type of negative self-talk can actually increase stress.

For this reason, it is very important that you become adept at positive self-talk. Doing so will help you control the stress in your life. And with practice, you will learn to turn your negative thoughts into positive ones.

Practice relaxation techniques. Whether you practice breathing exercises, meditate or write in a journal, you need to find several techniques that help relieve stress in your life. For instance, some people find that praying helps while others find yoga helpful.

Other relaxation techniques include calming visualization, progressive muscle relaxation and enjoying nature. The key is to find several things that work for you and then put them into practice when you are feeling stressed.

Recognize when you need outside help. If the bullying continues and you are consistently experiencing stress, it is time to consider getting help in dealing with the situation. Not only should you report the bullying, but you also need to find a professional to discuss the situation with.

Finding a professional to help is especially important if you are feeling depressed, experience changes in weight and eating habits or if you have contemplated suicide. Find someone qualified to help you with your situation such as a counselor, a social worker, a doctor or a psychologist.  

Continue Reading