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In a recent psychology lesson, we all filled in a test that gave us a ‘stress score’. Where most people got a score of around 40 (the higher the number, the greater the stress), I scored just 18.

When discussing the sources of each other’s stress, I could not help but feel that the people around me were making their own stress. By this, I do not mean that stress is ever the sufferer’s fault, I mean that the majority of the stressors my class-mates were identifying were things that happen in my life too: the build-up to exams, juggling work and school, preparing for important moments such as performances or projects. We were all affected by the same things and yet, I do not consider any of these to be a cause of stress.

Generally, I am just not a stressed person. There are occasions where the emotions that I feel may be defined as stress by others, when I would refer to them as nerves or just being busy. Other times, I just do not stress at all. So, the crucial question is, why?

I guess that, really, I would never put myself in a situation that I have not made every effort to ready myself for. Exams are horrible and there is always a voice in the back of my head reminding me that failure is a possibility, but I have never walked into an exam that I haven’t fully prepared for. And so, I have never given myself a real reason to stress.

 When ‘disasters’ happen, I think that it is sometimes necessary to just get over it… sometimes, you genuinely cannot do anything about the negative situation that you are in. You can make it worse by allowing yourself to view it in the most negative light possible or you can just accept it and do all that you can to pull yourself out of it. Stress just isn’t helpful.

Of course, my approach to life could be labeled by some as boring, but the alternative doesn’t have to cause stress either.

My dad is the kind of person who just loves the thrill of seeing how little he can get away with by pushing boundaries. Sometimes, things go wrong because the effort wasn’t there and that sucks but, other times, things go right despite your lack of effort. And there’s the thrill. Sometimes what you expected to go wrong goes wrong and that is fine. Other times, everything goes right and you can bask in your own glory.

What I am trying to say, is that stress is a real and horrible illness. It is something that we all need to be aware of and sympathetic towards. We need to help those who are stressed. But, equally, we can all help ourselves to alleviate the minor stresses we experience on a daily basis, just by choosing to smile every now and then. We can choose to not be bothered by things and we can help others to feel the same.

If you want to find out more about stress and how you can help people who are suffering from stress, click here.


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