Release the Dopamine!
Let's say you are a child with no stress. You go to a theme park and normally this would release a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers. The line is your stress level and the spike is the dopamine being released.
As more stress is added to your life, more stress lines add on top of each other,
and it takes more rewards or pleasure to release the dopamine.
It can be almost as simple as a mathematical equation. Positive coping skills take lines of stress away. Negative coping skills add more lines of stress, which creates a never-ending race to get the spike to the top of the stress lines. Sometimes there are too many stress lines to be able to use positive coping skills. This is when people get overwhelmed and their minds have to shut down to continue to survive because they can't find a way out of the race. When this happens people get stuck in the numbing/denial stage of grieving. For every stressor, try to find a positive coping skill to bring the stress back down. Sometimes this can be as small as taking 5 minutes in your car to take a couple of deep breaths.