Everyone gets stressed. It’s a fact of life. It’s an emotion which can be linked to worrying or anger. From a medical point of view it increases your blood pressure, which can be life threatening in people with certain medical conditions.

Ever since I can remember I’ve been a worrier. I used to struggle with sleeping and tension headaches, mum used to always comment on my insistance on worrying. Being the eldest sibling and the oldest out of my friends, I felt that there were many times I needed to worry. I saw it as maturity. Others would say I was other-reacting.

Though, ironically, my friends now comment on how I seem to be the one who doesn’t have any drama in their life. Admittedly, right now, my stress is coming from typical third year things which mainly consist of assignments and graduation. I don’t have [much] guy or friend drama compared to when I was 16. Instead I have money issues, job issues and assignments to stress about.

When I was 16 though, at the peak of my worrying self, I remember being sat in our Religious Studies class. It was coming up to our AS examinations (so, I guess I was actually 17 but that doesn’t matter…) Our teacher was big on talking to us on a more personal way, he didn’t like simply teaching us. On this occasion we’d gone off on a tangent about stress and particularly the stress of exams. Firstly, he made us identify the signs of us being stressed. I don’t remember what I put at the time but if I was to analyse myself now it’d be clear as day: rubbing my face, my trich, general fidgeting. For me, when I get stressed I get a restless energy.

Once we’d done that he made us identify what usually helped calm us down. Mine was walking my dog. I remember that because at that time I was obviously back home, in the Isle of Man, and took my dog on nightly walks. These were particularly nice because around where I live at home there’s plenty of countryside. Obviously, at university that’s not such an easy option. I live in Preston, a small city so not so much in the way of countryside. Instead now I focus on assignments, and release the restless energy by writing 1,000+ words on education. Not only does it give me a focus for my energy but researching provides me with a completely different topic to focus on as opposed to whatever is causing me stress.

So what about you: what causes your stress? What are the signs that you’re stressed? And, finally, how do you get out of it?

Start focusing on that instead…


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