Stress is inevitable. Everyone stresses. Anything and everything can stress anyone and everyone out. Here is an infographic because infographics are cool and a visualization of statistics and data will help make my point seem like it has a point.
The point is:
I would like to think that stress itself is not a good or a bad thing. Stress is a perceived pressure like how happiness and love are perceived gratifications. I say perceived because to each his/her own what his/her stress is. People are perpetually programmed to believe that stress itself is a negative thing and from that stress has become stigmatized. Often, we only hear about how stress is detrimental to health, performance, and relationships. We have been taught that stress is a disease, a threat, or a killer. I don’t see stress itself as a bad thing, but when people handle stress poorly and allow it to affect them physically and psychologically then it is a problem.
I’m super guilty of handling stress poorly, but I recognize that. It takes a lot of effort to tame it. In addition to having fun, exercising lots, eating well, and sleeping properly, I am trying really hard to do the following:
1) Let go.
Letting go is probably one of the most difficult tasks to do. What I have come to understand though, in this process of letting go, are three things (I had to write it out and draw diagrams to figure this out):
I’m not saying that this is something that can be easily and instantly mastered. It does take a lot of time and space and energy. And like all skills, it takes a lot of practice.
2) Own it.
As I am growing up to become a big kid and a big deal, I try to use stress to my advantage. I try to take hold of it before it takes hold of me. I try to understand that it is part of this process of growing up and it is simultaneously developing existing parts of myself and discovering new ones.
Instead of interpreting and understanding stress as a disease, a threat, or a killer, I interpret and understand stress as a fuel, an opportunity, and a motivator. I want to prove to and for myself that I can and will exceed my self-imposed expectations. I believe that improvement, innovation, and success are matters of making something work with a situation and not against it. I have learned that I need to take control of my stress and use it to push myself to my goals rather than pull me through a gutter.