Why am I stressed?
This time of year can be stressful for many. Especially students. Exams are just a few weeks away (mine start next Thursday) and peoples stress levels are hitting an all-time new high. That is okay. It’s okay to be stressed. It’s okay to not be okay. At such a young age, it’s perfectly normal. A person’s teen years are the most important and stressful period of their lives before they hit the real world. Learning how to maintain stress levels is the next tricky part. When it all becomes too much, it’s always good to try and find a way to channel the way that you are feeling.
Recently, I had my first yoga session in 5 years. I realised how much I had missed it and it was a lot of fun to retry what I used to love. I’m not going to lie, it was very embarrassing but worth it. Yoga is a fantastic way to deal with stress and emotions. You will learn how to completely relax the body and mind. This is key to managing stress. When you are in the stressful position, you won’t be able to change it at that moment. You can, however, learn how to change it beforehand. This could help you to enter the situation in a more relaxed fashion.
This is another good technique to stress and emotion. Especially anger. When you’re in a tense situation, you are able to calm yourself by controlling your breathing. The square breathing exercise is a fantastic way to encourage your body not to enter ‘fight or flight’ mode. The square breathing exercise has four steps (like a square has four sides!)
- Inhale for 4 seconds
- Hold for 4 seconds
- Exhale for 6 seconds
- Hold for 2 seconds
Now, when you do the next step, as you are doing it, imagine yourself drawing a square. When you inhale for 4 seconds, draw a line that takes 4 seconds to draw in your head. This could really help you to time it right.
It’s always good to repeat the exercise a few times to allow your nervous system to make the right changes to allow your body to feel at peace.
What causes stress?
The situations and pressures that cause stress are known as stressors. When these build up, they cause tension and stress in the mind. Stress prepares the body to take charge in a demanding or threatening environment. When danger is noticed by the body – stress kicks in and prepares for a response. This is where we get the ‘fight or flight’ response. High amounts of adrenaline rush through our body as we are ready to ‘fight or flight’. The response is your body’s way of keeping you safe. When it works efficiently, it allows you to stay focused and alert.
So, we’ve learnt what stress is and what it is caused by and how we can manage it in different situations. But, how do we overcome it? the easiest answer would be to keep occupied and fit. When you have something enjoyable to do, you won’t feel under pressure and you will be able to forget about most things that are bothering you.
During exercise, your body is too busy pumping blood to keep itself alive in order to worry about stress. The only stress your body is under at this point is physical stress. Exercise is an amazing way to allow yourself to feel better.
Yugen – An emotional response about the world too deep to put into words.