Hey guys! I hope all of you are hanging in there. Where are all my college kids at? This one’s dedicated to you guys! I am a college student myself and I think that regardless of our majors, what year we are doing, etc, we all deal with a different levels of stress. I’m here right now to tell you not just the side effects of stress, but also different ways in which you can deal with this stress, as well as how you can be better in tune with your body because in most cases your body knows of this stress before you even do!
So what is stress? I mean we all feel it from time to time, whether it be at work, being under a pile of work, or just being at school and thinking about all the things you have to get done. Or in my case, you’ll dream of something that kind of symbolizes what you’ve been feeling, i.e stress and anxiety manifested in everyday objects such as a truck, a car accident, or just plain freaking out in your dream.
Stress is your body’s way of telling you “HEY! TAKE CARE OF ME!”. So if you’re feeling drained after a long day, chances are you may be in need of some TLC and sleep. If you’re like me, who breaks out like crazy, maybe it’s time to dial it back and not take on as much responsibility. But the one thing I want all of you to remember is this: make sure that YOU come first, all other things can wait. That being said, if you don’t feel at all like yourself, then how do you expect to perform at your best? Always always always make sure to keep you and your overall health in check.
Something that I’ve learned along the way is if you continuously ignore your stress and ignore what your body is telling you, what’ll happen is you will become depressed. Studies have shown that people who prolong their stress, end up with some form of depression. What’s more, is stress has the power to lower your immune defenses, making you more vulnerable to catching a cold and other illnesses. When you catch a cold, always remember that it is your body’s way of telling you that you need to rest and relax for a bit. Believe it or not, stress can contribute to a lot of diseases, like cancer, hypertension, ulcers, colitis, fibromyalgia, heart attacks, strokes, the list could go on, but the bottom line is this: your body is nothing to fuck around with, so if you have to take a breather, relax, that is completely within your power to do so. Allow yourself to relax a bit, chances are, your body has been telling you for a while, listen to it.
Now you’re probably wondering, listen to your body? Karen, what the fuck are you talking about? So as I have said before, your body has the ability to detect and feel stressed before you even realize it! Your body is an amazing thing and I learned this all while reading Whole Body Intelligence: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Body to Achieve Greater Wisdom, Confidence, and Success by Steve Sisgold. In this revolutionary book, Steve not only tells his story with listening to his body, but he also talks about how he has helped other people listen to their bodies and get more out of what they want in life. Steve also incorporates into this book something called, “body centric practices” that he uses on his patients. These exercises are effective in that I’ve tried them and I have let out so much pent up energy in my body, so many emotions flowed through me, ranging anywhere from calm to flat out sobbing, to anger. Surprisingly, it was actually liberating, to do so. I never realized that I held in so much sadness and anger until I did these exercises as illustrated in the book. While doing these dynamic exercises of essentially getting to know my body, I was able to find out who I really am and what I want out of life. Most of all, this book helped me feel grounded. I sincerely hope this book does the same for you, gives more insight into who you are and what you are destined to do in your life. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who feels lost or struggling to keep their emotions in check! Click the link above to check out where you can get Steve’s book!
Moving along, so remember how I talked a little bit in my last blog post about finding your outlet? (Read it here) Well, I am going to place more emphasis on not just the whole idea of having an outlet, but also the importance of being able to deal with stress head on.
Since my recovery from depression, I have been able to find many more outlets where I feel that I can let out all my negative emotions, in a more healthy and positive way. I started out with going to the gym, then worked my way to writing blogs, to photography, to heading out to the mall or going for a walk, to organizing my room, to watching a movie. An outlet is anything that can help keep your mind busy from any stress/anxiety that you may feel at any given moment.
The other day this week, I felt so overworked, so unbelievably stressed, and nothing was going the way I wanted it to go. I realized that I had 2 options, it was either 1) I would stay here at home, drowning in the work I have to do for my classes or 2) I go to my outlet, i.e the gym, and run on the treadmill. I chose option 2 because I knew I had to get out of the house and into a space where I can focus all my energy, release all my anger and related emotions from me. So I went, ran a mile and felt significantly better after the fact because I was able to put myself in a different frame of mind.
A different frame of mind meaning that I was able to feel more motivated, in terms of what I was going to do, which was to run and basically let out my anger in a healthier way. I was able to use that outlet to help me realize that whatever happened that day won’t matter a year from now.
Through it, I was able to find a healthier way to deal with stress. The only reason why I’m pushing so hard on this outlet thing, is because once you have one, you can become better equipped to deal with being stressed. Choose an outlet that not only keeps your anxious/stressed mind, busy at work, but also that it helps relax you and helps you get back to the person you were before you got stressed out.
I really hope all of you find your outlets and know that you are not the only one who is stressed/anxious. Surround yourself with people who get it and try to learn from them about what they do to deal with their stress!
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, prayin’ – Kesha