I thrive under stress, it’s something I’ve spoken to my counsellor about a lot. Without stress, I stress because I’m not stressed. Because of this, I’ve had to find healthy ways to induce stress that doesn’t render me a complete mess.
One thing I’ve found to help is doing exam papers, it’s a productive outlet that’s good for education. Another way is reading, I take on the problems of the characters but they’re still separate from me. Sometimes though, I read too much and can’t differentiate between what I read and what is real, so everything in moderation.
Stress can cause problems both physical and mental if it doesn’t have a good outlet. I know that if I don’t channel it in some way, I end up doing nothing. Mindlessly scrolling through social media, never feeling better, just feeling bored and lethargic. This doesn’t get rid of my stress. Other times, I can’t sit still. I do half of one job then need to switch to another and nothing gets done. This is equally as bad. I always end up irritated and snapping at everyone, causing friction in my relationships.
Channelling stress is something that everyone should learn. Does music help you relax? Reading or art? Maybe going for a run? Whatever it is, it’s important to remember those tools are there for you to use, just don’t abuse them. If you ignore the thing that’s stressing you out for too long, it’s only going to get worse. A good way to do this is taking breaks and spreading things out. Need to get 30 pages of coursework done? Do 5 pages, take an hour to do something you love that relaxes you, then do another 5 pages. Do this over three days and all of a sudden, your coursework is done and it wasn’t too hard. Reducing the thing stressing you out into small, manageable chunks, turns your stress into small manageable chunks. It’s a good way to deal with it all.
At the end of the day, you can’t get through life without stress so coping mechanisms and strategies are a must.
Jade is a 17-year-old student from Felixstowe. She writes about mental health to help others using her own experiences.