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Dealing with Stress: The What and How

Dealing with Stress: The What and How

How Dealing with Stress?

Getting home from a long day at work only to spend the rest of the night working on your second job to make bills due; Having a spouse die and you still have two kids to feed and take to school; working under a micro managing boss; all of these have something in common. They are stressful situations.

No matter your social or economic status everyone goes through stressful situations. Which means everyone gets through them in their own ways. Some ways can be very beneficial while others cause more harm than good.

One popular method of dealing with stress is smoking. While smoking has been shown to relieve stress it’s inconclusive as to whether it’s the substances in a cigarette or the act of performing a comfortable habit. Either way smoking is a negative method of dealing with stress. At the same time drinking, drugs, over or under eating are all negative methods of dealing with stress. Each of these also have something in common. They all don’t deal with the problem. Instead these methods are simply distractions from the stressful situation.

Listening to music, talking it out, and exercising have always been positive methods for dealing with stress. Talking about why something is making you stressed, especially with a good friend who cares, allow you to express your emotions on the subject in a comfortable and safe manner. This is very beneficial to anyone under great deals of stress.

There have been dozens of studies on the effects of stress on the human body. The body reacts to stress as a means to protect itself. This means that while stress can be beneficial in short bursts, chronic stresses on the body can severely damage your systems. Everyone has heard that stress causes high blood pressure. However a faster heart rate also increases oxygen to your brain and muscles, which allows more strength and energy in dire situations: i.e. Fight-or Flight responses. In a very simple analogy stress on your body is similar to working out. The stress on muscles benefit you in short bursts by making you stronger but continuously working (chronic stress) can rip muscles apart.

Stress is unavoidable but how you deal with it is your own personal choice. Try and find out your own personal “ticks” and develop strategies for coping with them. One example I have is before college I used to be very picky about “my space.” if anyone came in my bubble or messed with my things I would freak out. In college I chose to live in the most crowded dormitory with very little personal space in order to confront my feelings on it. While I don’t recommend this method to everyone it worked for me because I dealt with my feelings as they arose. My methods are not your methods. I am not here to judge and no one should be judging you. Find what works for you (safely) and calm down.


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