Recognize that you can have your vulnerability as long as you have your support. All the support in the world can be available and we need to allow it to be there for us. Starting with the body can help us open to other kinds of support, so notice how the ground beneath you supports your feet. Walk barefoot on the earth and feel the sand or grass, allowing the energy from the earth to travel up and through your body. See yourself in relationship to the world around you, knowing that you share breath with every living thing. Cultivate relationships that nourish you, and pick up the phone when you need help or could use some human support. Those of us who learned at an early age to be overly self reliant may resist this; do it anyway.
Become aware of how you constrict or make yourself small, and inhibit that pattern. Unless you are a prey animal hiding behind a rock, this automatic primitive brain response no longer has much benefit in the modern world. In fact, it decreases our breath, limits our ability to think clearly, can invite muscle pain, and pushes us further into a flight or fight survival mode. Most of us don't actually cower behind the furniture, but many do tend to squeeze shoulders in, shorten the spine and narrow the back, often without awareness of doing so. Making yourself small also includes belittling yourself with thoughts and words. Instead, redirect to opening your body, taking a full breath, lengthening and widening along the shoulders and back.
Look to the light. Where is the light in your life? Maybe you can see it in the garden, or shining in your children, or rippling on the ocean surface. What makes you smile, feel good, or be grateful? Spend time there and direct your thoughts to appreciation of what is working in your life rather than narrowing your focus to what is wrong. Use the time that you might otherwise spend worrying and simply notice beliefs that lead you to justify isolation, substance abuse, or self pity. Shine a light and bring them to a place of choice rather than unconscious habit.
Use tools to increase your access to grace. Practice more of what brings you serenity and a sense of connection. Pressure often leads people to cut back on what nourishes them the most, so intentionally increase whatever feeds your engine when you feel stressed. One of my teachers used to say that whatever the problem was, the solution was more yoga. So go to class even when you don't feel like it; pray, meditate, swim, surf, knit, dance, sing, or dig in the dirt more than usual. And acquire some new tools. Energy psychology offers easy to use techniques to reboot and rebalance your inner workings. Learn how to practice the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), or schedule a massage, or a Tapas Acupressure Technique session (TAT). Learn Jin Shin Jitsu finger holds to help facilitate the flow of emotional energy through your body. There are many recources available, so fill your tool box and cultivate the habit of using them.
Stress is part of life and sometimes life is really hard. There will be many times that we are powerless over other people, places and things, but we always have choices about how we manage our attitudes and responses about a situation.