What is the most stressful thing in your life? That answer might change on an everyday basis. Sometimes life can seem so stressful that you don’t even know what to try to tackle next. No matter what the situation is, you need to hope is that you feel like you are in control of your stress. What is stressful to you is going to be largely dependent on the context of the situation. Are you a superstar at work? Running late may not be the end of the world, but if you’re on your last straw as opposed to if you’re a poor employee.
There are a lot of different activities that someone can engage with to reduce stress, but the most important key is to remain confident in yourself. If you know that when problems arise, you’ll conquer them in a healthy way and your stress levels will be a lot more manageable.
By outlining the impact of not only internal, but also external support systems, it will help you realize the positive outlets that you may have at your disposal. We all have experience with being stressed, but need to hope that our past experiences are going to invoke a sense of confidence that there is nothing you can’t do. There is no magic to completely eliminating stress, but it can be managed.
One of the biggest ways to reduce stress is to properly identify it. If you are able to clearly state your problems, the resolution to them may also become clearer. This is where organization can make all the difference in the world. By outlining goals, you may be able to identify areas where you need help. As well as this, if you are a goal-oriented person, it may give you a sense of satisfaction to complete your goals that you have so clearly identified.
For many students it can be overwhelming to look at all the due dates towards the end of a semester. But if you break it into small chunks, you’re going to spend a lot less time being overwhelmed and a lot more time being productive, and that means more time at the bar!
If outlining your problems and realize that you may need help from others, know that is not a bad thing. Your friends and family are there to love and support you, on all of the days, not just the good ones. If you are able to be open about what is bothering you, you may find resolution to your problems through friends. Are you stressed about a Chemistry exam? Well now your friend Brenda knows, and she happens to be a great Chemistry student. The more you keep things close to the chest, the higher the chance that you’re going to have a breakdown. This is not only mentally unhealthy, but you risk alienating the people you love who you kept in the dark when you needed them most.
For those of you who are going through a particularly tough time, you need to hope that the people you surround yourself are not shy to tell you how proud they are of you for your efforts. Sometimes things seem stressful because you don’t feel appreciated, but friends and family can be a huge source of love and support during the tough times and make everything seem worth it.
Another key component to reducing stress is to make sure that you are rewarding yourself when you succeed. Too often students or people at work, get in the mindset where they go from one task to the other without taking a breather. You’re going to be more stressed if you constantly feel like you’re always working, but don’t have anything to remind yourself of the benefits of work. Do you love having your nails done? Work that into your paycheck once in a while and it should be a constant reminder of why you work as hard as you do. Want a dream job? Remind yourself of why you are staying in the library until 3 a.m.
If you are all work and no play, you’re going to forget a lot of value that comes from why you are working so hard.
It’s important to remember that one of the most important reasons as to why you need to reward yourself, is because it is also going to remind you of your past experiences where you were stressed. Did you survive a brutal work week and then bought yourself an awesome TV? Now you get to remember how you survived that stressful ordeal and had a huge reward because of it.
One of the other building stones in helping manage your stress, is remembering your past experiences. Sometimes things are stressful because you feel like you physically can’t make it through the task, but hopefully you have positive experiences where you felt that way in the past and succeeded. If you have little rewards that you get to use and see, it will only further enhance your confidence in tackling the new stressor. If you find yourself constantly saying that you shouldn’t have stressed out so much and that everything worked out, use that to further your confidence in the future.
Some people do not prefer, or don’t have your own experiences to go off of, but don’t be afraid to look at others for inspiration. This can be your friends or family, but it can also extend to reading about other people’s life story. If you are able to read about people who have turned their life around, it may give you the inspiration to do the same. Similarly, reading about other people’s experiences may help contextualize your own problem. I’m not saying it isn’t stressful that you have three essays due next week, but it could always be worse. If you have the right attitude about it, looking at other people’s experiences and drawing inspiration from them can be incredibly rewarding and motivating.
There is no one area of your life that is going to have a universal cure on how to not be stressed out, but your mindset is your greatest ally. The one thing you can hope, is that you are always building tools for yourself to help out when things get really overwhelming. Relying on your friends or family can seem like a sign of weakness, but it really is just a sign of the strength that you have put into those relationships. If you can remind yourself that you deserve to celebrate, and it can help you become aware of why you work as hard as you do. Nobody knows how the future is going to go, so you might as well try to be optimistic towards it. Know that your stressors are completely valid, and hopefully that will also further increase the confidence of you relying on others for support when you need it.
Everything is all going to be okay, you just don’t always know what that means yet.