How Do I Deal With Stress?

Submitted by Natalie Brauser on Mon, 06/04/2018 - 15:03 - 0 Comments

Stress is present no matter where you look. Sports can be stressful, families and friends are stressful, and school is especially stressful. 

With all of this pileing on you, it’s hard to know what to do to get rid of those nasty feelings stress can makeyou feel! And, however good avoiding your problems may feel in the moment, you can’t simply cut yourself off from all things that stress you out. 
In fact, stress itself is not bad, but rather the way you think about stress could be detremental. Thinking about stress as a negative part  of your life can take years of your life.  With a good mindset, you can change the way stress effects you. 
After talking with Lincoln’s resident therapist Gina Batliner, we came up with a list of how you should, and should not, do to cool down your stress levels.
How to deal with stress:
Excercise: Exercising is one of the best ways you can reduce your stress. When you workout, your brain releases endorphines, which act as a natural painkiller to reduce your stress levels and  increase your ability to sleep!
Socialize: When you talk to or touch other people, your brain releases oxytocin. This is a chemical that raises your mood. All you have to do is give someone a (consensual) hug, and you could drastically change their mood for the better.
Keep a diary: Simply recording the events in your day, especially how you feel about what’s happened in your day, makes it clear to you what is making you feel stressed out. While you can’t cut out stressors like school work, you can control who your friends are. Often, people are stressed out by situations within their friend groups, and if you map out how often your friends stress you out, you may discover who which friends are not healthy for you.
Sleep: Sleep is so important! Get eight hours of sleep each night if you can: it improves your memory, mood, and judgement.
Do something you genuinely like: This can be seen as a distraction, but instead of doing something you like to simply put off your stress (making it worse), do what you like to calm yourself. This can be anything, but some ideas are: meditating, baking, cleaning, puzzling, drawing, taking a long shower, people watching, or going on a walk.
Find something you can control: Usually the things that stress you out are the things you cannot control. For example, this could be a grade you’re waiting for on a paper, or whether or not you’re going to win your important sport event or competition. Sometimes it helps to start a project for yourself or find something in your life that you have complete control over so you regain a sense of power in your life.
How NOT to deal with stress:
A Lot of Caffiene: Caffiene and stress both elevate your cortisol levels, and so drinking too much coffee or energy drinks will prolong your evelated cortisol levels, leading to weight gain, moodniness, heart disease, and diabetes.
Studying too much: Doing this will BURN YOU OUT! As people, we need breaks from our work. Overstudying leads to excess amounts of stress and tension, which will can to heart disease.
Watching TV, playing video games: Watching screens can psychologically stress you out. You see a dramatic or dangerous situation on the screen, and your brain reacts the same as it would using the fight or flight response. Screen time usage also correlates with high blood pressure and increased food intake.
Procrastinating: This is just putting off your stress load! Procrastination is never an answer. Everything will just build up, leading to an epic stress out of major proportions down the road!
Eating: Many people condiser themselves “stress eaters”. You only want to eat when you’re stressed because of the hormones released in your brain push people to want sugary foods and to overeat. Usually this is insatiable hunger, so you’ll just eat until you are sick.
Skipping Class: This is never a good idea. Your teachers know when you’re skipping class- and your teachers talk to eachother! If they see you in Starbucks and they know you’re supposed to be in their teacher friend’s class, they will rat you out! Granted, most of the time you skip class because you aren’t ready to turn in work or take a test. However you must remember that by skipping, your work load will pile up and it will get even harder to catch up.

About the Author

Natalie Brauser's picture

Natalie began working for Beyond the Flock in fall 2017, and became the Art Director in the spring. Later she took on the position of Director of Photography. She is a Lifeguard and enjoys playing water polo. Class of 2019.