Cognitive Restructuring Exercises to Reduce Stress & Heal Your Mood


Biological or physiological stress is the response of an organism to an environmental condition. In general, stress is our body’s way of reacting to something challenging. Some kind of stresses get us going and are healthy for us. According to many people, life without any stress would become dull and may make everything pretty pointless. However, when stresses weaken both our physical and mental health, they are detrimental. Before we go in detail, it’s important to understand the difference between stress and stressor.

Stress is the feeling that we experience when under pressure while stressor is a stimulus or agent that triggers stress. Simply put, stressors are different kinds of environmental things that we respond to. Examples of stressors include unpleasant people, noises, going out on a date, appearing for an exam or job interview, or even a speeding car. Usually, the more the stressors are, the more we feel stressed. The following things may happen when we feel stressed:

  • Breathing becomes quicker than normal
  • Blood pressure rises
  • Heart rate rises
  • Digestive system slows down
  • Muscles become strained
  • Immune system goes down
  • Sleep disturbance (heightened condition of alertness)

Most people have differing interpretations about stress and what triggers it. Some of them concentrate on what occurs to them such as getting a promotion or having an accident, while some others focus more on the occurrence itself. In reality, our thoughts about a situation matter the most when we find ourselves in it. In this post, we’ve jotted down some key cognitive exercises that would help you to lower stress and improve your mood.

Stress observed in children

stress in kids

Adults often tend to see the world of children as carefree and happy. Though children don’t have bills to pay or jobs to keep, they’ve anxieties and fears and can make them feel stressed to some extent. It’s crucial to identify stress in kids and help them to learn healthy coping strategies. The strategies often stay with the children up to their adulthood. Here’s a list of common types of stresses observed in children.

  • Complaining of stomachaches or headaches
  • Being distrustful
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling unloved
  • Tending to urinate frequently
  • Having trouble with sleeping
  • Not caring about friendship or school
  • Bed-wetting
  • Having worries about the future
  • Acting withdrawn
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Low self-esteem

Here’s a list of the most common sources of stress in children.

  • Disturbed fundamental security system such as separation from parents or divorced parents
  • Extreme pressure caused by studies or extracurricular activities
  • Death or illness of closed ones
  • Parent’s internal problems
  • Different kinds of world news such as war, terrorism, natural disasters etc
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