Stress. Stress. Stress. Stressing about this and stress about that. We stress about every single thing and go crazy because of it. Everyone has experienced stress at least once in their lives; that is what we all have in common. What do we define stress as? The psychological definition of stress is that it is a feeling of strain and pressure. Managing stress is what everyone needs to learn to do. Some may think that from all the stress people have, they won’t know how to cope with it and manage it accordingly. Stress can be both good and bad. To be able to manage stress, one must know what is stressing them out. Those stressing or trying to manage stress must take responsibility for what is going on and not blame others for it. Stressing is an everyday portion of our lives. The world is becoming really difficult to live in and stress will only be repetitive in our daily lives. We are defined by how we handle our stressors and what steps we take to overcome that stress. We may not necessarily be in control of the situation which usually causes us stress. Being under a lot of tension makes us seem like we aren’t in control; however, it is our life. Therefore, having the power and authority over our own lives is the foundation of stress management.
Two methods of coping with stress are problem-focused and emotion-focused. Problem-focused is that we change our behavior or take some type of action that can possibly solve the problem. Emotion-focused is directing our attention to something else, avoiding thinking about the situation, engaging in positive thinking, or putting some distance between us and the situation. The article, “Problem-Focused Coping: Definition, Strategies & Examples”, states that time management, avoiding the problem, and asking for support are ways one can employ problem-focused coping (“Problem-Focused Coping: Definition, Strategies & Examples” 2019). Time management won’t work if there are a million things to do in a short amount of time. Time management consists of making lists of priorities with the date they need to be done by. The next example is avoiding the problem. Keeping stress away is by avoiding that there is too much to get done. Most will think avoidance is bad, but the amount that we can accomplish is the amount that we can take on. Lastly, asking for help. Communication is the first step when asking for support on anything. Bringing up the courage to ask for help when you are trying to manage stress is the first process. After that, everything will come easy. Some positive emotion-focused coping methods include meditation, praying, listening to music, etc. An article called, “An Overview of Meditation” by Elizabeth Scott, it mentions “Longer meditation sessions tend to bring greater benefits, but it is usually best to start slowly so you can maintain the practice long-term” (Scott, 2019). Meditation helps to isolate oneself from their thoughts when they are thinking about stress. You can relax your body with meditation and not worry about stress responses. When continuously performing this strategy, it can become a routine that’ll help expand the stress. Stress triggers one's body to be worried and overwhelmed all the time while meditation does the exact opposite. It is a calming state to the body to help the body take a break. Another way to manage stress is by praying. Praying is like direct communication with God himself. Praying to God can be a great stress reliever and one doesn’t always have to believe in God or be religious. Difficult, stressful times will lead someone in the right direction when in need of help. When requesting help from God, you must know that He is always listening and will always be there to help whether you believe in Him or not. The article, “Managing Stress with Prayer” by David Tomasilli asserts that “No matter how hopeless your situation may be, have a belief that miracles can and do happen. This ultimately gives you hope and the strength to carry on in your time of need” (Tomasilli, n.d.). Praying gives everyone hope and makes them feel stronger. It motivates them to keep going and never give up. You can stress about anything and anyone. You can possibly stress someone else and their situation. When you pray, you pray for yourself or others. You can pray for guidance, well-being, or strength. The last method of emotion-focused coping is listening to music. Music eases the mind and assists with any mood. In the article, “Stress Management Techniques” by Patrycja Miedziun and Jan Czesław Czabała, states “The study showed that the most common technique of dealing with stress are: listening to music” (Miedziun & Czabała, 2015). The technique of listening to music for stress management shows statistics that 74% use this technique. Music is a way of shutting out any negativity. In another article, “The Power of Music to Reduce Stress” Jane Collingwood says “Productivity increases when stress is reduced” (Collingwood, 2018). Music is seen as a strong tool for stress management.
Although managing stress can have its advantages, it can also be a pretty negative thing. Stressing in general is pretty bothering and unbelieving. From too much strain or pressure, physiological and psychological problems may occur; as well as addicting habits as a way of preventing or getting rid of stress. Some stress symptoms affect one’s body, behavior, and feelings. Stressing can involve one’s heart pounding really fast, biting nails, or even having some type of anxiety. While the best ways of coping with stress have been discussed, there are worse ways as well. The article, “Best and Worst Ways to Cope With Stress” by Lauren A. Greene, affirms that there are five worst ways of coping with stress (Greene, 2013). Those ways are drinking/smoking, staying inside for a long period of time, taking no notice of the problem, hanging onto the negative, and eating away feelings. Each of these ways will be thoroughly explained.
To begin with, the first worst way of coping with stress is drinking and/or smoking. Some people tend to drown themselves in their problems hoping they’ll all go away like that. Unfortunately, that isn’t how things work. It may seem that at the moment things will be better when we drink but that is not always the case. Smoking or drinking will cause a cycle of continuous stress since it is causing a negative impact on the body. The second worst way is hibernation. It sounds amazing to be curled up into a ball and be in a comfy bed all day, but doing so will not solve any problems. The number one cause of stress is stability. The process of being able to have things done on time and as soon as possible sounds great, but one must actually get up and do something about it. As stated by, “Best and Worst Ways to Cope With Stress”, it claims that “Research shows that the more you sleep, the more tired you actually feel” (Greene, 2013). We may think that sleeping will help us rest and finally be able to have the sleep we need, but we can still be tired seconds after just waking up. Oversleeping can also cause health problems, adding on more stress rather than removing it.
The third way is ignoring the problem. Most of us try to take our mind off the bad that is going on in our lives, and sooner or later we won’t pay any attention to our problem which can be bad because it is much easier to fix the problem in the beginning. It is important to process everything that is being dealt with. Pushing off problems will only make them get bigger. It isn’t bad to take a mental time out and forget about stress temporarily because everyone does it, but after a temporary time of the situation needs to be resolved one way or another. Residing on the negative is the fourth bad way of coping with stress. Overthinking is a huge factor that leads right to stress. The thought is that if we make one little mistake, our lives are over. If we say something wrong or unpleasant, our relationship with someone is over, or if we forget to pass out the payroll at work so we think we might lose our job. It is normal to think of negative scenarios when associating with tensity, but the more we do it the more of a habit it becomes. The last worst way is eating up your own feelings. Everyone loves food. A nice hot meal with some sides to fill us up at night before sleeping. According to the article, “Why Stress Causes People to Overeat” it states, “Over 5,000 men and women showed that obesity was associated with stress-related eating in women but not in men” (“Why Stress Causes People to Overeat” 2012). Instant signs of stress or emotion lead to the desire for food. All these ways are disadvantages of stress and bad ways of trying to manage it.
In conclusion, stress is a big deal. Some people might say one is overreacting or exaggerating the situation, but stress is very effective. Being able to manage stress the appropriate way will make life so much easier. Managing stress in the wrong and unhealthy way isn’t the way to go at all. It may not seem like a huge deal in the beginning because we are all bound to do things at the moment, but in the long run, it can be really damaging.