My Philosophy: Dealing with Stress

Many people are going through tough times right now. Some don’t have enough to eat. Some don’t have enough to go to school. Some don’t think they’ve been treated fairly. Others have been robbed of everything they have and still others can’t get out of a chronically dangerous situation.

There are many levels to “tough times”. As a minor, people are usually stuck with their parents and whatever that entails until they’re eighteen. Then, when you’re out of the nest, there are still people above you who seek to alter your opinions and actions to suit them. some will submit, some will rebel.  Whether you find your happiness in either course of action, I suppose, is up to your temperament. However, this doesn’t mean that although you’re physically having trouble, it doesn’t mean that you have to torture yourself mentally about it either. Please note that what I’m about to say doesn’t apply to everyone and since I live in a safe neighbourhood with clothes on my back and food in my belly, I’m not qualified to address anything beyond my personal experiences and if you beg to differ, be aware of that fact.

My philosophy about dealing with anxiety or worry or other stress factors in my life is to first think about if I have any power to change whatever it is that is stressful. If I can’t do anything about it and it doesn’t really hurt me that much, then I just reconcile myself with whatever’s happening. For example, my family moves a lot. Whenever I get sad or anxious about the move, I would remind myself that this isn’t my decision to make and that I would still have my family and besides, seeing more places and knowing more people is fun.

If there is a problem and I do have the power to change it, then, of course, worrying about it isn’t going to change anything so you either just give up on something or you work towards it. There’s no point worrying about something and not doing anything about it at the same time. The worse thing you can do is complain. You make yourself feel bad about something while at the same time not doing anything to help yourself.

For example, my mum always says that “If I knew English, I wouldn’t need you (the kids) anymore and she would be able to be so much more successful etc. etc.” But she does nothing to actually start learning and whenever we prompt her, she always says that her mind has never been really good and she’s “old” so it’s impossible for her to learn. Not only does this limit her, but also drag down the rest of the family because someone always has to be at hand to help her and this responsibility falls largely on us, her kids, and it’s particularly damaging to us because all of us are at an age where we’re supposed to be independent or trying to be independent (especially with my sister being in her 20s) and instead, we’re dragged into a codependent relationship with our mother who refuses to improve her own situation.

If you have something that’s coming up like an exam or an interview or a tournament, and you’re nervous, there are a couple of things you can do to alleviate it. As an athlete, I’ve found that visualising before an event is really helpful. The point is to imagine what you could face in whatever situation’s stressing you out and think of how you would respond. For example, I would go through drills in my head before fencing tournaments and go through all the footwork and the bladework and then I would think of how to respond to different attacks and ripostes my opponent would potentially use. This puts your brain in a state where it’s already familiar and somewhat comfortable with what’s going to happen. Not only does this help you prepare but it also takes away the anxiety that accompanies idleness in a situation like this.

Lastly, if it’s a situation where visualising doesn’t help and it only makes you more anxious (say, a speech or something), then one thing you can do to motivate yourself is to think that, in an hour or so, you’re not going to be in this stressful situation anymore. Whenever I have a public speaking assignment, this is what I do. If it’s during fifth period or something, I just think to myself that this is a temporary situation and after fifth period that day, this assignment won’t bother me anymore and I could go home and relax. This helps trivialise whatever’s stressing you out and by doing that, it’s no longer going to be a do-or-die sort of mentality. When you’re a student in a comfortable household with no big worries for your health or safety, small things tend to get blown out of proportion and this level of stress, though small, is going to feel titanic in an otherwise relatively stress-free life.

To sum up, we have a Newt Scamander (Magizoologist and author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) quote for y’all:

“…worrying [just] means you suffer twice.”

This is all for this post. Sorry for not posting this on time on Sunday, but my life’s sort of lazy and hectic at the same time right now. I’m also getting a job so my writing time is gong to be restricted, not that it’s much of an excuse. But anyway, this is just a heads up from me. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve changed the theme of Outlet. If you guys have a topic you’d like me or nemoulysseus to cover on Outlet, fill out the contact form or send us an e-mail at whentheskyisovercast@gmail.com.

As always, like, follow and share. If you guys would like to support us to make better content, we have a Patreon page and we’d appreciate it if you make a small contribution. If you meet one of our tier requirements, there are special privileges you can take advantage of. That’s all for this time.

I’ll talk to you later.

 

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