Handling Stress: What You Can Do


Stress gets to the best of us, and if not handled properly, it can take a toll on your health, work, school and relationships. According to the American Psychological Association, 77% of people in the United States regularly experience stress and feel it on a physical basis and 33% of people feel like they live with extreme stress. Some of the physical indicators of stress include migraines, upset stomachs, and fatigue. Some of the mental ones include irritability or anger, feeling nervous, or lack of energy. (via)

[pull_quote_center]Everybody’s going through a lot of stress these days, no matter how well off you are and how many advantages you have, it’s a stressful time in everybody’s lives.[/pull_quote_center]

We’re all stressed — literally. We all have our moments where we want to just give up and quit; and a lot of us have been in the same situation where there’s $10 left in our bank accounts and no way of paying the bills. I’m sure even Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have had their fair share of stressful times.

So.. what do we do about it?

You can give up and cry or whatever, but it’s not going to help. You can try to figure out what’s stressing you and improve on it. It’s in our human nature to feel determined because it gives us the motivation to do something better, but don’t let that determination turn into stress. Stress is the negativity and hopelessness you feel when you’re under a lot of pressure that makes you under-perform.

Don’t let stress run your life! Here are some ways you can change your life around so that it’s stress free:

doing something you love

1. You can chose to do something you love.

Do you do what you do because you’re forced into it? Or do you do it because you actually love it?

A job is a job, you can’t go about quitting your job just because it’s stressing you out. But you can make something out of it. You can think about your career path and if it’s really the right one. I’ve known plenty of people who have worked years in their industry and have gone back to school for something they enjoy doing. You can also incorporate something you love in your job. If you’re a writer but your real passion is art, why not add comics to go with your writing? If you have no other choice, but to do what you do, then do something you love on the side. Join a cooking class. Go skiing on the weekends. Find something you love and stick by it.

There are no excuses for living your life just for someone else. If you actually enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t feel as stressed. If you live it for someone else, then you’re just living a life well wasted.

change how you think

2. You can change the way you think.

Instead of focusing on the negatives, try to think about the positives. Don’t let your failures define you. If you have something due really soon, don’t think about how you’re going to do bad: make it a point to do it well and kick ass! As a civilization, we wouldn’t have progressed as much if all we did was focus on our failures. Take them as a way of learning and getting better for next time.

Be positive. Be sure of yourself. Don’t cloud yourself with doubts. Make your deadlines push you to accomplish something great instead of letting it overwhelm you. It’s all about the way you think about things — a cup half empty and a cup half full.


3. You can cut down on the coffee.

The coffee is good, but living without the coffee will make you feel better. Caffeine has been known to make anxiety worse, so cutting down the coffee can make you feel less stressed and less on-the-edge. We all know how those post-coffee jitters feel. Caffeine is a temporary means of jolting you awake, so instead of drinking so much coffee, get a good night’s sleep. Getting a full 8 hours a day will do you better than any caffeine can.

stop worrying

4. You can stop worrying so much.

This one’s pretty obvious but a lot of people forget to… just stop worrying. What good is worrying going to do? Is it going to help you complete your essay? Is it going to earn you thousands of dollars? Is it going to get you that job? Nope.

Instead of worrying, preoccupy yourself with other things. The busier you are, the less time you have to worry. I don’t mean to push your responsibilities aside — you should do all you can to prepare for what you’re going after, but during the waiting period, don’t think about it! If you’re waiting for a call back, why not take the time to apply to other places? If you’re worrying about paying your bills, why not look for a part time job in the mean time? If you’re worried about not completing your essay in time… why not ask for an extension or do it earlier next time? There are so many ways to get out of the complex situations you are placed in.

prepare for next time

5. You can be more prepared for next time.

Did you do something wrong that cost you money and time? If so, take it as a lesson and do it right next time. Sure, you’re stressed now, but the best way to get rid of stress is to prevent it from happening. If you prepare really well for that interview, or if you study really hard for your test, there are no reasons to panic after.

Of course, life is all about those curve balls, but the more you go through the better you’ll get at expecting them.

[quote_box_center]One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.[/quote_box_center]


Tell us…

What do you do to combat stress?

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