Battling Stress?

What happens when a friend dies, a family member is diagnosed with cancer and you are struggling to keep up with your work in a doctoral level program while juggling a host of other things? Extreme Stress!



I found myself in this situation and some days I felt like giving up, throwing in the towel and yelling out to the heavens ‘I Quit’! Feelings of loneliness, increased blood pressure, anxiety and moodiness seemed to hit me in waves. I was near my breaking point but I remembered that I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t the only person to experience stress or extreme stress. I wasn’t going crazy. I was normal.

I had to remind myself that stress is something that everyone encounters at least once in their lifetime - click here to tweet, it’s just some people may experience it more than others and at different levels of intensity. Stress can come from both internal and external factors. Stressful jobs, grief & loss, financial issues and relationship changes can increase the level of stress one might feel.

There were two truths about stress that I had to face:

Either you manage your stress or it will manage you. While some people are able to manage their stress levels well, others find it difficult. Seek help if you need to, but you must get it under control or else it will tear you down physically and mentally.   

Either you let your stress propel you or detain you.Stress can be a motivator or it can cause major challenges in your life. You have the power to decide how you’ll ultimately allow stressful situations to affect your life. I encourage you to take that stressful situation and use it to get you to better place in life.   

I faced these truths and then I made a decision. I chose to live the best life that I could. I put everything into perspective, squared my shoulders, held my head up and tackled stress head on. I used my situation to motivate me to achieve my goals.

Here are a few tips that helped me reduce some of the stressors in my life.

Get the proper rest.  Your body needs to recharge and rest for the demands of life.

Adopt an eat-well lifestyle.  It’s not just about having veggies and a salad it’s more of a mindset of that consist of eating things that keep your body healthy.

Set and maintain healthy boundaries.  Saying NO helps you gain freedom and time.

Identify fun activities that provide relaxation.  Having fun and relaxing not only frees your mind of worry and anxiety, it refreshes you. It also keeps you looking and feeling youthful.

Forgive.  Forgiveness frees up space for you to love more.

Exercise.  “Exercise increases your blood flow and oxygen to your brain as well as produce chemicals in your body that are natural painkillers which also allows you to sleep better.”

Latasha Matthews, Owner- IllumiNation Counseling and Coaching LLC, Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Professional Life Coach

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