Personally, I view stress as a normal response your body has when someone takes on, or expects, too much from themselves or others. When you over think or overwork your body responds with things like being fatigued, irritated over the smallest things, depressed, sluggish, etc. Additionally, stress can cause physical harm to the body such as constipation, hair loss, ulcers, weight gain/loss, memory loss and more. These are signs that mean you should step back and evaluate what’s making you feel the way you’re feeling. Sometimes the things we stress about are beyond our control, while other stress triggers can be reduced or eliminated completely. Keep reading below to find out how you can reduce stress and find more inner peace with situations beyond your control.
Coping with stress is easier said than done if you’re like me, even coping with stress stresses you out, ha-ha. However, everyone has something they can do to help cope with stress. To begin with, I would like to address the type of stress that is beyond our control. Things like having to work to provide for yourself and a family, worrying about the future or past, stressing about what others think about you, etc.… While these are inevitable, there are still ways you can lessen your stress and get through the day without wanting to set the world on fire. First, try making a list of things in your life that are out of your control. Second, after you figure out what you can’t control, try making another list of things that bring you joy. Finally, after you write down a list of things that bring you happiness, try to come up with several plans with the “joy” list for times you become overstressed. Sadly, stress will always pop its ugly head up during the worst time. It’s always a good idea to have a plan for when things become too overwhelming.
Additionally, there are types of stress that can be cut out of your life, though you must put forth an effort and a change of lifestyle if you want to eliminate the stress that is within your control. I won’t lie, you’ll be stressed at first, however, you will be working towards reducing or eliminating that stress for the long run. Being stressed about weight, whether you need to lose or gain weight, is an example of stress that you can control (unless you have a medical condition). It will be hard at first, but when you put the time and effort into yourself and see results, your stress about weight starts to reduce. Another example of stress you can control is stress related to self-esteem. While you may not be able to control the way you look, sound, stand, walk, how others view you, etc…, you can change how you perceive yourself. Did you know it takes about a month to break and create a habit? If you would like to break negative thinking you could start a self-love journal or do self-love challenges to get your mind in the habit it should have been in a long time ago; loving yourself and accepting yourself for who you are, instead of worrying about who others want you to be.
Consequently, if you do not try to reduce your stress you could go through physical and mental despair. Some of the physical complications your body can go through while you’re overstressed can include stomach complications like ulcers, constipation, and IBS. Furthermore, acne and weight problems are also related to stress. Additionally, stress can also cause mental struggles like anger, depression, insomnia, and memory loss. Personally, I have experienced all of the complications mentioned above, including memory loss. In 2014, I lost most of my memory from overstressing and acting like everything was fine. I didn’t get the help I needed, and I had to be hospitalized for 3 months. I could not recognize my mother, brothers, nor my roommates. To make things worse, my brain was trying to merge the past with the present, along with reality and fantasy. I was not on drugs, and I had quit drinking 3 weeks prior. I woke up one day and snapped from all the crap life had thrown at me from the age of 6. Apparently, the human mind can only withhold so much before mentally snapping, even if you’re happy and living a good life. The doctors didn’t know what was wrong at first, but after being evaluated I was told I was going through psychosis from the amount of stress I was under. As you can see, overstressing can have serious consequences.
However, you can look at normal stress as beneficial. Normal stress lets you know when you are taking on too much, it’s your body’s way of telling you to relax. Furthermore, some stress helps you be more productive. It helps by making you aware of the projects you’ve been putting off. Not to mention, some stress can keep you out of dangerous situations. For example, if you’re invited to a party, but you’re not getting a good vibe from the invitation, that’s stress letting you know, “hey this might not be a good idea.” Always listen to your body, it helps guide you through life if you take a moment to listen to its needs.
As you can see everyone experiences stress men, women, children, the elderly, even animals experience stress. However, everyone experiences stress differently. What stresses you might seem silly to someone else, always keep in mind everyone responds to things differently. Never make someone feel as if they are being over-dramatic about something that is stressing them. Comfort them at the least. Not taking stress seriously can have serious health consequences, both physical and mental. If you begin having serious problems, see a doctor immediately. There will always be a way to manage stress, whether it’s going to a doctor, therapist, or taking the time to meditate to listen to what your body needs.
I have provided a stress worksheet with examples down below.
Remember: You Are Never Alone in Your Struggles