• S. Parris

Stress Mangement for dummies

Stress - /stres/ - A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances



The stem of stress may vary per individual, but we've all felt stressed at some point in our lives about something. These individual things that cause us to feel stressed are known as "stressors". There is such a thing as "positive stress", which is when a stressful situation is perceived as apart of a positive outcome (example: school stress resulting in a degree). As adults, it is important to be able to differentiate positive stress with the negative. This will help us to better manage it, and be in more control of stressful situations.


Everyone has their own ways of coping with stress, but for many of us this can include some unhealthy habits. Some of the unhealthy coping mechanisms I've collected from people voluntarily were:

- substance abuse (both drug and alcohol)

- sex (which could be considered healthy depending on who you ask)

- ignoring the stressor

- "stress eating" or eating large amounts of food

- self harm

- oversleeping

- isolation


How you choose to cope with stress is a result of how you prioritize the things that are causing you to stress in the first place. Before you can learn to cope with stress, you can learn to manage it. Here are some ways that you can manage the amount of stress in your life & learn to eliminate this feeling;


ORDER OF IMPORTANCE

Many times we may not notice ourselves stressing over things outside of our immediate control. Mentally arranging the important things in our lives can help to destress. Instead of stressing over something like how someone else is treating you, exert that energy and mental capacity to something that is in your control; such as an upcoming test you can study for. Prioritizing & telling yourself "there is nothing I can do to change this" and letting it go, can free you from worrying about it, whatever "it" may be for you.


TIME MANAGEMENT

One thing college has taught me, is that how you manage your time is very closely related to the amount of stress you may have. When you constantly leave important things to the last minute, you're under more pressure, and feel a LOT more stressed. Create a personal schedule, or keep an agenda where you can write down when and how you will cross important "to do's" off your list. Doing things one thing at a time, and giving yourself time to recuperate after completing something will definitely take some weight off your shoulders.


COPING MECHANISMS

How you cope with stress is most important. After identifying what is worth stressing about, and managing the time you will spend completing your important tasks, you might still feel stressed; that's OK. There are many healthy ways to cope with your stress. It can be a trial and error process, but figuring out what works best for you isn't always night and day. Some methods you may consider may include but are not limited to:

~ Exercise. When your body is focused on the physical stress of working out it can release some mental stress.

~ Create a hobby. Believe it or not, the creation of this blog was partially due to me on the search for something where I can positively exert energy and release anxiety.

~ Confide in someone. Often times when we're stressed about something we feel as though we are alone, confiding in others can show you that everyone has their stressful days. Reassurance can be helpful as long as you don't get addicted to receiving it.

~ Meditate. Meditation can come in many forms. This can include confiding in a spiritual or religious higher power, practicing yoga, and more. Meditation is simply clearing your mind of your thoughts and filling your body with positivity


Stress is a part of life. We probably can't completely eliminate it from our lives, but how we choose to react to it is definitely something that can be controlled. Regardless of what it is in your life that is causing you stress, I hope you found at least one thing that helps you to destress in the future. Thank you for reading


Disclaimer: The information used in this article is from my own personal experiences and observations. In no way am I qualified to make any medical or professional inferences on extreme stress, anxiety or depression. If your stress causes you to feel anxious, depressed or even suicidal call 1(800) 273 - 8255 for 24 hr available support