Calming yourself down in stressful situations

by - August 06, 2019

This year, as one of the most academically demanding years I have experienced so far, with that bringing stressful situations, I have had to come up with ways to manage that stress (so as not to completely go insane). That isn't to say that I will not have more stressful years (inevitably as I go through the education system it gets harder, more workload and more stressful, but these are a few things that I used and helped this year). I am not a psychiatrist, therapist, psychologist or specialist of any kind- these are methods that helped me and hopefully they can help you too. If stress becomes unmanageable, remember there is always help available and there is absolutely no shame in seeking it.

1) Going to sleep- sometimes if you just hit that point where it gets so stressful that you aren't thinking properly (especially if it is at night, which seems to be when I have got most worked up) going to bed and trying to unplug is the best thing. Looking at it with fresh eyes can make a huge difference and sometimes help you see solutions where you did not before.

2) Jot it down - your rough schedule- plan ideas. Something that seems obvious, but makes a huge difference. Seeing it written down can help collect thoughts and make you feel more in control as well as clear you mind. It can also help gather the options that you have available.

3) Put it into perspective. A lot of the time when we get really stressed it is because we are taking it out of perspective and thinking about a lot of possibilities and scenarios that could go wrong that may never even happen. Ask yourself - will I be as worried about this in a month, a year, a decade? Is this really going to have that much impact on my life in the grand scheme of things. Quite a few times, the answer may be no. A lot of things are important in the moment and stepping stones. But thinking about its overall significance and taking a step back can help you calm down and put some perspective in what you are worried about. It won't be the end of the world if it doesn't go to plan (most likely).

4) When there is a lot- go one step at a time. Block out any other tasks and focus on one thing singularly. If you think about everything it will just be overwhelming and make you feel like you aren't in control. Finish one thing, then worry about the next. After all, you cannot change the fact you may have a lot to do, but you can change the way you think about it and eventually get it done. It is like when competing in a sport - first you have to get the first point before thinking about the rest.

5) Think about what you can control. Some things we can do nothing about and there is no point stressing about. It is easier said than done, but if it is something you cannot control, try and focus on what is in your control and trust that things will turn out the way they are supposed to.

Everyone is different and reacts differently to stress and different things will work for different people. This year I feel like I have learnt quite a bit more about managing my stress, but it is truly a journey and we are all constantly learning new things about ourselves.

Help keep me going 🙂
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