“If you focus on the possible when you experience difficult situations you can positively change your outlook, reduce your stress, and concentrate on achieving things that otherwise may not have been possible.” Catherine Pulsifer
Stress. That five letter word that makes me want to run a mile when someone utters the word ‘exam’..
Biology states that stress is a person’s response to a stressor such as an environmental condition or a stimulus. Everyone knows that a stressful day in work will, quite obviously, result in stress. Your favourite football team might lose a game that you were really hoping they would win. That is an obvious stressor. Our relationships may add stress to our lives, but these are all branches of the sphere that is part of being a human. Of this we should be grateful. To be able to experience the complexities of humanity, that allows us to love, have empathy towards others, be able to enjoy the simple and amazing pleasures made available to us.
It emerges when times get though. That’s a given. However, when it appears without any considerable amount of prompting. When it becomes apparent that stress is coinciding excessively with your daily emotions, it can become terrifying and it does interfere with peoples lives in a detrimental way. So much so that anxiety can become excessive. While the person suffering may realize their anxiety is too much, they may also have difficulty controlling it and it may negatively affect their day-to-day living. There are a wide variety of anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorder to name a few. Collectively, they are among the most common mental disorders experienced.
Personally, whenever I was faced with pressures like exams, I found I began to retreat into a cubby hole of denial and refused to acknowledge their inevitable arrival. Primarily due to the fact that when stress began to build within me I found it difficult to cope. I sometimes became anxious about other things not relating to exams at all. The little obstacles in life that usually wouldn’t bother me like passing-comments and facial expressions of others, I began to store as accentuating items in my suitcase of anxiety. One that i felt would never be unpacked. Metaphorically speaking.
There are ways to combat this stress. Meditating for even 20 minutes a day can help. Taking a walk when the stress begins to emerge, listening to your favourite music for an hour. Never forget to take time out for yourself daily. Listen to your mind when it begins to tell you you are becoming stressed. That way when you realise your developing these feelings you can take action and prevent it from turning into a panic attack. Bottling up your stress and allowing it to take over is a highway to disaster, and unfortunately, denying you are having these feelings is like cutting the brakes. There’s only one way to go, and that is straight off the cliff of control, and inevitably you will land in a panic attack. This will keep reoccurring until you combat it face on, and learn to cope with it. One day, with persistence, you will be able to turn this stress into positive stress, which is very handy indeed!
I know some like to revel in their stress because it is known to help people succeed. Stress is the bodies way of reacting to a challenge(life’s known for those). This positive stress actually has a name – eustress. Positive stress adds a sense of confidence to whatever it is they are attempting to execute in that moment. This is a life lesson that will inevitably aid us to achieve everything we want in life.
That’s right! Stress can actually make good things happen, it’s just how you allow it to manifest.
I speak openly in my blog about things I feel people should be more aware of. With hope that other people feeling anxiety can understand that there are coping mechanisms to combat their stress. Stress is commonplace, and it evolves in so many ways over so many things but it’s something we all share in common. Each person on this planet who lives, or has ever lived shares this experience with you. Sometimes it is overbearing, and it can prevent us from living our lives to the absoloute maximum. Hopefully I’ve shown you that it’s possible to live with stress, and that it’s not really such a bad thing!
Until next time