How to Reduce Stress Part 4: Being Assertive

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It may seem that being assertive has little to do with how stressed we may be feeling, but in fact if we are feeling out of control or not having enough input in decisions being made about our life, we can become very stressed about those situations.  This could be happening with friend, teachers, family or at work.

Now every age group is going to have different levels of responsibility or even ability to make choices for themselves.  But if you are a teen or older, standing up for yourself in positive ways and expressing your feelings, needs and opinions is very freeing for your soul.  Being assertive about expressing yourself is a right that you have, but also one that comes with the responsibility to understand the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness.

When difficult situations come up are you willing to speak up?  You may ask yourself if you are being embarrassed, bullied, lied to, or having a conflict, will you share your thoughts and feelings honestly with the other person or group?  Do you know how to do so effectively and without coming off as aggressive?

Engaging others when you are calm, explaining your feelings and specific behaviors that are effecting you and how you feel is the beginning steps.  The use of “I” messages along with how you would like to resolve the issue is a good way of beginning the conversation, along with asking for their willingness to change their behavior or help come up with another solution.

Holding your feelings and thoughts in for a long period of time, can only build the pressure on yourself and make you feel like you will burst. Finding a way to discuss the issues at hand in a calm manner will make you feel better about yourself and the situation and reduce the stress that you are feeling.

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