Stress is something we all go through in life. It comes in all forms; it can come from people, it can come from the environment we’re in, it can come from work, and it can come from ourselves. We’ve all felt stress in our lives. Some believe they don’t need to stress; some people are stressed 24/7, and some thrive off being stressed as their outlets help them overcome every stressful situation they are experiencing.
Everyone handles stress differently. What works for one person may not work for another; simply because everyone is different and has had different experiences in life. What stresses me out may not equate to why others may be stressed.
We stress ourselves out over small things and big things, and stress affects us all one way or another. For someone to say they are never stressed, I would say they were lying. This is because that is what I used to say and sometimes do still say.
The older I get, the more I realise that stress becomes more prominent in my life, and it has been now more so than ever. When I was younger, I used to say that I was stressed, and nearly every adult who heard me say it would tell me that I did not know the meaning of the word. Being who I am, I would disagree with them and tell them that I do know what stress is and was feeling it at that moment. Boy, I was wrong. I wish I had the stress I believed I had when growing up. The adult were correct (for once). I didn’t know the actual stresses of life, the true stresses of the world, as I thought I did. I hated it as soon as I experienced a snippet of what some would call the “real” world.
What is Stress?
- Pressure or tension exerted on a material object
- A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
I was naïve when I was younger to think that I was stressed in life over the littlest or stupidest thing that occurred. I’d give an arm and a leg to go back to the days when I would be worried about a test back in Primary School or go back to my GCSEs as I thought revising for that was the most stressful thing to occur in my life. I genuinely laugh at my younger self for even thinking that. I truly felt like stress had consumed my life growing up when I hadn’t even touched a minuscule amount of stress compared to the stresses I have in life now since growing up.
I tend to downplay everything and act like nothing in life ever gets to me or stresses me out. I’m the first person to tell someone not to stress and relax; when behind closed doors, I’m going through my stresses, too, trying my best to ignore them. I have had the mindset to try and put everything off that could potentially add any stress and drama to my life. If it’s something remotely stressful for me, I completely shut off and isolate myself.
Isolating myself always makes me feel worse in the end because it then begins to affect me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have had many forms of relieving the stress I was facing. Forms include writing, watching TV and films, spending time with the Mrs, going out with friends, and even zoning out playing PlayStation. As much as I love doing these things, as much as they relieve some form of stress in my life, it would never be a permanent solution. It was always temporary because the stresses would return all at once in full force as soon as I stopped distracting myself. There was a time when my stress levels had even enhanced after trying to relieve myself from them or, to put it bluntly, running away from them.
That became and still is a bad habit of mine. I try to escape the stress rather than confront and tackle it head-on. It’s complicated. The more stressed I am, the less sociable I become, and I am more introverted. Stress affects my entire mood and unintentionally causes me to take it out on those around me.
No matter how much I am aware that I do not face my problems, I always try my utmost best to distract myself rather than face them. As always, I end up face to face with my problems as it gets too much for me to shy away from them. Each time I faced my problems, the solution would never be as bad as I thought it would be, and the thought of facing them made the actual action harder than it was. Perhaps anxiety had built it up in my mind for me to be overwhelmed with even tackling anything? Who’s to say? I learnt that confronting it was never that bad. I knew that having outlets was good but confronting the things that added stress to my life was also good and possibly better in the long run.
One of the main reasons I try my best not to stress about anything is that stress can cause health issues. As someone who already has health problems, High Blood Pressure being one of them; stress is not suitable for me. If I feel an ounce of stress in my life, I feel my blood pressure rising within my body. I have also been told that my eyes begin to go red, which is not good.
Breathing techniques have helped me calm down when I have been stressed. Lately, I have been feeling the pressure at work; it keeps getting busier and busier, with the days getting longer and longer. I start at 9, and by the time it reaches 12, I am burnt out. Whenever I feel like this, I tend to do two things: I zone out and just breathe in and out so that I calm down and feel less overwhelmed. Or I call my Mrs, and she suggests that I go for a walk outside and drink water, both of which help a lot.
A lot of what I have been writing is me trying to confront every problem I have with myself. With every piece, there has been a lesson learnt from it personally. I may not have found a way to work on every single one perfectly, but I have made the proper steps that will change and contribute to e confronting and bettering myself in life.
I want to learn from this; I know that it is okay to feel anxious when stress arises, and I know that it is okay to want to distract myself from it too. I also know that it is okay to confront and tackle things in hopes of decreasing my stress levels. All it takes is practice and patience.