At some point in your life, you are probably going to feel stressed out.
Common signs include but are not limited to: burn out and mental breakdowns, difficulty breathing and the feeling of a heavy chest on the verge of exploding. How come some people appear perfectly cool as if they experience no stress at all? Lucky them! Well, the reality is that most people are coping with some extent of stress every day. The trick here is how you manage the stress.
Stress management is an essential skill everyone must learn. The goal is not to be completely stress-free (this rarely happens); what you need to do is find your own way of dealing with it. What does that even mean? It’s simple, really. Here’s how:
1. Start by recognizing and accepting the fact that you have stress. Say hi to it, or give it a name if you want to. Don't fear it nor run away from it; think of it as your inspirational friend that put positive pressure on you in order to help you grow. Remember: stress is not your enemy.
2. Understand where your stress is coming from. Is it your grades? Your relationship? Your job? Your upstairs neighbour John who hosts a dance party every night at 2am?
3. Stay calm, don’t over think it. The human brain is very powerful. You can think about how stressed you are all you want, but that’s not going to change the situation much. Let this sink in. You can keep thinking about John’s hardcore dance parties and have a mental breakdown but John will still go on hosting them every night.
4. Analyze your source of stress for solutions. The keyword here is solutions. You are looking for a solution, not to dwell on the stress you already have. Is it something that you can easily deal with? For example, knock on John’s door and tell him your concerns about the parties that he hosts? Great, go do that. Is it something that is literally a part of your life? For example, the constant pressure that you have to get at least 95% on your tests or else there will be no dinner tonight?
5. Survey your stress relief options. If it’s as simple as knocking on John’s door, great. If it’s more complicated than that, then you need to find a way to relieve that stress. Stress relief comes in many different forms and can vary greatly from person to person. It could be as easy as meditating for 5 minutes each day. Other common options include exercising, gaming, watching a movie, going on a date, cleaning the house, singing, travelling, sleeping, etc. Or, pressing the Easy Button. “That was easy.”
6. Evaluate your stress relief method. Does it help relieve your stress? To what extent? Is this method your only option (it shouldn’t be)? Note that your stress relief method should NOT have a negative impact on other people. It should NOT affect your health negatively. It should make you relax, feel lighter, and better.
Stressed out? Don't stress it.