Monday, August 6, 2012
Stress and Coping:Cara Chill
Stress and Coping
As a senior in college, I often refer to my life as a balancing act. It is up to me to maintain good grades while applying to graduate programs, doing research, volunteering, and interning. As much as I love staying busy, it sometimes becomes overwhelmingly stressful. I am sure most individuals also have this contradicting life style of trying to keep busy without becoming overloaded. Personally, I feel stress in small increments can be beneficial, it gives us a reason to get out of bed our start our day. However, chronic stress can be detrimental to our well-being and may cause physical, emotional, and psychological harm.
There have been many times in my life where I have felt unsure on how to cope with stress and after years of experimenting, I found working out. Working out had always been something I incorporated into my life but I never looked at it as a way to manage my stress. I usually looked at working out as a way to be healthy and keep myself fit but today, it is a simple way for me to deal with stress. Exercising not only gives me time to think about things in my life, it also ironically, provides a momentary escape from reality and allows me to work on the parts of myself that need some TLC. For me, the best feeling I could give myself is a nice workout followed by a shower and a good nights’ sleep. Whenever I am stressed and do my routine of working out and getting enough sleep, I wake up feeling refreshed and prepared to start my day. Exercising is also beneficial because it releases endorphins which make you feel good that may also help when dealing with stress.
I understand that exercising may require time and planning which not everyone can dedicate to. Also, some people would rather cope with their stress in a different way other than by working out. In that case, there are many other things that have been found to help decrease stress and some take little to no time at all!
1. Laugh- it is so simple and you will have fun doing it. Laughter reduces tension and improves blood flow to the heart. So when stressed, spend some time with a friend or rent a funny movie and forget about your worries.
2. Write/ keep a journal- it is also great to record your thoughts and feelings and writing your troubles down can be soothing and also a great way to release tension and look at the situation from a different perspective.
3. Spend time with those you love- spending time in a place you feel relaxed with those you love provides you with a sense of comfort gives you a sense of belonging and purpose.
4. Meditate- when you feel tension take some time and take deep breathes. This can be calming and bring you solace.
5. Be thankful- there is always something or someone to be thankful for and sometimes we tend to focus on the negative things in our lives instead of all the wonderful things. It is always refreshing to remember all the positive things in our lives.