How to deal with stress

“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today and then add the burden of the morrow before we require to bear it.”
John Newton.
Stress is an elusive term, generally it’s a mental or emotional tension/pressure that one isn’t quite able to cope with. There’s a limit to how much stress a person can truly handle, therefore one must have effective coping mechanisms to avoid exceeding it. When dealing with stress we should all learn the art of surrender and make an effort to stay centred and grounded, otherwise overwhelming external factors in life will weigh you down.

MAJOR STRESSORS (I’ll only touch on a few)
Basically stressors are all things that causes the release of stress hormones (science).


Time
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To most, the ticking of the clock isn’t just that, each arm of the clock represents some sort of activity. Racing from one deadline to the next isn’t an ideal way of living but it’s the way we live. As a student, there’s always some notes to catch up on, an exam to read for or an assignment to submit. For those working; some have to prepare presentations, write a report, get to work on time, pay your bills on time, etcetera etcetera.
When all these become overwhelming it gets harder and harder to cope making it all too stressful. In such a case you have to prioritize, start with what’s most important and do as much as you can when you can. Do not remain fixated on what you will not be able to do or what you haven’t done.

Collage stress
(check the link)

Loneliness
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It can take a toll on someone and even have fatal results(especially if one is suicidal). Feeling like you’re on your own with no one to lean on is very hard, even extremely depressing.

Ways of dealing with it might vary due to the different types of loneliness and in some cases such as the passing of a loved one or a divorce, it is inevitable.
It has been effectively discussed here.

Age
We as human beings plan things for ourselves and use our ages to set when specific milestones should occur: “I shall get a good job by the time I am twenty-four, move out at twenty-six, get married at thirty and have two kids by thirty-four.” It will seem rosy until it fails. We make plans and God laughs (sometimes your plans aren’t in line with what is already set for you). This can be really depressing especially if all your plans have been completely derailed. Dwelling on this would only increase your stress levels.

At such a point you have to let go of whatever you had planned for yourself and make what has come and is coming your way work until when an opportunity to get back to your desired path poses itself. You literally won’t have much of a choice, so it’s better to stay positive and carry on.

People’s opinions
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A stressor too familiar to many. Generally I don’t care about what people think about me
, but there are those singular moments when what’s said about you hits a sensitive spot and it hurts, especially when its about or from those you care for. If at some point people’s opinions of you get to you and you end up stressing over them, think to yourself; “Why should someone’s opinion of me matter to me? Is it any of my business what another person thinks of me?”
It is truly pointless to stress over what anyone thinks of you because you have no control over it but you have control over how you react and overcome it. Take charge.

Success
I know I want to be successful, I believe I will be successful. Almost everyone grows up thinking, “Yes, success awaits me.” What happens when you’re all grown up and things aren’t as you envisioned? Do you set new goals or stick to what you’ve already seen you cannot achieve? It’s stressing when you feel stuck at a place you really don’t want to be especially when your mind is already set for somewhere else.
Nene Leakes (one of the numerous reality TV show stars) once said she does not do poor well.

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I found that really amusing and am sure many share that sentiment. When your idea of success doesn’t come when you want it to or how you expected it to, you have to re-evaluate your goals and perception of success. Setting realistic goals (one that doesn’t depend solely on chance, that you could actually achieve)  can help you avoid unnecessary self-inflicted stress. You shall not become a billionaire out of the blue, we cannot all be Bill Gates.

The past
There are too many people out here stressing over what has already occurred and it is pointless. Sometimes we forget how pointless it is and end up living there; that isn’t healthy.

We should learn to let go of what has passed and embrace what is here, the now. Always thinking about what you did, what you didn’t do and what you should have done, does not let you grow as a person. Move on.
Learn from your past, let it positively build your character and let go. Holding on is not always wise and holding on to what you cannot change is a waste of your precious time, unless you’re on the verge of some time machine scientific breakthrough. Don’t  depress or make yourself bitter, life is hard enough.

Routine stress
The daily pressures we all experience like going to work, doing chores and going to school. Spending your days waking up to the same things, to do the things you’ve been doing since forever and knowing you have to do them can be very stressful. I go through this a lot. It’s always either the routine nature of school or doing chores each day. It’s hard. Changing your mindset to positively incorporate these activities and trying to bring in new factors like going out with friends, getting a pet (pets are extremely therapeutic, they can literally change your mood positively within seconds) or talking walks, when you can, may help you cope with this a lot.

For those who have experienced traumatic stress, it could be quite serious. This is usually caused by having a near death experience, being in grave danger, being in a major accident, being assaulted or experiencing a natural disaster. It may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder which should never be ignored, seek help from the right people.

“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
-Benjamin Franklin
Life would be much easier if you slowed down and let things happen for a change and not force stuff to go your way. Appreciate what you already have because there is no point in wasting time on what you hope will come, positive or negative.

PS: Stress affects people’s health, it’s not a minor issue. Whether you’re stressed over something you cannot afford or over unrequited love, its a big issue. What is stressing you isn’t as important as how the stress is affecting you and how you are reacting to it. Seek help when you can, from those close to you or qualified individuals, chronic stress can lead to depression, never let it get to that if you can help it.

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