Stress is a horrible thing, and is something that we have all experienced at one time or another. Whether it’s stress about an assignment, exams, relationship problems, family issues – there is a lot to get stressed about. It’s easy to just shut down when it comes to dealing with stress. But how can you deal positively with stress?
1. Try and remain calm.
This is definitely easier said than done, and when I am stressed, being calm is the last thing on my mind. I remember my cousin once told me that when he is stressed, he thinks about whether whatever you are stressing about will matter in 5 years. The answer? Probably not, but at the time it feels like such a big deal. It is easy to become overwhelmed. Try to remain calm – emotions run high when you are stressed. Whatever you feel makes you feel calm, try and do it. It may be going for a run, watching your favourite TV programme or movie – just take some time out to calm down and de-stress. If I am stressed, I always tend to throw myself into work and try and stay away from people as much as possible because I might say something I’ll regret.
2. Keep a stress diary.
It is sometimes easier writing down what you have been stressing about rather than keeping it all inside. Write down what you were stressed out about, how you dealt with it and how you felt after. Stress comes and goes – depending on the situation, it can last for a long time, it can last for a short time. However, one thing is sure. Stress is extremely draining, and it does wear you out. When you are stressed, try not to abandon sleep either. It is easy when you are stressed that your sleep pattern can become distorted, but trying to maintain a normal sleep pattern – if not more hours of sleep – will help you manage your stress.
3. Talk to someone.
Talking to someone always helps. Whether it’s talking to a friend, family member, teacher – whoever you feel comfortable with – let them know how you feel. Stress can have a really negative effect if you don’t deal with it in the right way. For example, if you feel that you can’t meet a deadline for an assignment, speak to your teacher. Explain that you have been stressed and if it would be possible to have an extension on the deadline date. I remember that when I got back to school after taking nearly four months off to have surgery, I had to catch up on coursework, all the classes I had missed, revising for exams, making notes, actually trying to stay up-to-date with what was being covered was an impossible task. I’ll admit that at the time, I really wanted to drop out and give up. I was up till the early hours of most mornings and believed I couldn’t do it. It was an extremely stressful time, and I doubt I’ll go through something as stressful as that ever again.
4. Try and manage your time as much as you can.
Most of the time, stress is about feeling that you haven’t got enough time. Try and do as much as you can to manage your time effectively. What I’ve found useful is to wake up a few minutes earlier, this helps you to avoid panic. Even if it feels like you are too early, then that works better than being constantly stressed. It is inevitable that we will be stressed – it happens to us all. But it’s how we deal with it that is important. Deal with it in the wrong way and it can have negative consequences and make you more stressed. However, deal with it in the right way and you can try and reduce stress as much as possible. Managing your time will help you to avoid stress.
5. Say ‘no.’
If you’ve been asked to go out and you don’t feel up to it – you may have an assignment due, you may be tired, you may not feel up to going – learn that it’s okay to say no. By agreeing to going out all the time, you will likely make yourself more stressed and run down. In the past, I have said no to going out with friends, because I feel tired and don’t feel up to it. I don’t feel bad because I know that if I went I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. If you are stressed, remember to put yourself first. I love days where I do absolutely nothing – the best kind of days – so make sure you have a few of these days!
Have you any other ways you deal with stress positively? Make sure you tweet us and let us know your ideas: @Fuzzable.