Stress, Pressure, Anxiety … Oh My!

Stress is a funny thing. It comes at us from all angles, and sometimes we can’t pinpoint exactly why we are stressed, we just know that something isn’t right. Everybody’s been there. You have fifteen million different things going on, and what seems like just as many people coming in and out of your life on a daily basis. This particular stress has always been a problem with me, specifically in identifying it. I’m the kind of person that has to know why something is happening. Not knowing usually just increases my stress.

Without meaning to, one of my new Professors for this semester stumbled on the answer. It wasn’t until I was looking through my notes to review that I realized that the answer was staring me directly in the face. Literally. Below is what I took down in my notes.

“Regardless of what we claim our value system to be, it can be identified by viewing how we live our life and spend our time.”

This is something that is hard to do. It’s easy to examine or judge other people for what they are doing, but incredibly difficult to take a look in the mirror. Sometimes, though, that’s exactly what needs to happen. Maybe you’ve just gotten off the path of where you want to be in life, and although you didn’t realize it at first, it was causing you some anxiety. Changes can always be made, even if they’re not always easy to make.

So, sit down and think about where you’re at and what you’re doing; take a really good look in the mirror. Now, think about who and what you want to be in life. With those two people in mind, figure out a way so that you can be content with where you are in life.

You might not have any discrepancy between what you want and who you see in the mirror, and maybe this post wasn’t applicable to you. It is to me, though, and it might be to someone you know, or to you at some other time in your life. Keep it in mind.

Ladder of Life

Each new semester is exciting for me. I love the thrill of getting organized and starting a new routine. It’s almost like I get to have a new beginning every time. Most of all, I love learning and I love the challenges that new classes present to me. I live to set goals and work my butt off all semester to meet them.

This semester is different, though. It’s scary. I’m applying to graduate school programs, which has me STRESSED. The one thing that stresses me out the most though is that I don’t know what is coming next in my life. I would love for it to be starting classes for Mizzou’s Physical Therapy program in June, but I’m not sure that my plan is what is actually going to happen.  

I’ve done everything in my power to put myself in the best position possible with my applications. Even though I’ve procrastinated slightly with my final application, I’m almost finished with the application process and interviews are fast approaching. I know that I’m exactly where I need to be.

After a particularly stressful day today, I was excited to see a link to this story on my facebook timeline. It is exactly what I needed to hear (read). I am lucky that my parents have given me what I needed to climb the “ladder” of life, more specifically to make it through the applications of grad school. I know that these challenges will only help me in the future, but it was good to be reassured. I also know that with the skills that I have, no matter what life hands me next, I’ll be prepared to tackle it head on. I just have to take a deep breath and trust myself.

Focus.

Fact: I am one of the most negative people there ever was.

No, really. I am. And it is STRESSFUL.

Rewind: My New Year’s Resolution. I’m not sure if resolutions are like wishes… You know, you’re not supposed to tell people what you wish for when you blow out the candles on your birthday cake? Is it bad to tell others your resolution? Well, bad luck or not, I’m telling you anyway. This year I resolved to be the best me I can be. I did not want to set my expectations on some high lofty goal only to be down on myself when I don’t perfectly achieve it. I love the fact that this one doesn’t require too much, and so far I’ve been really pleased with how well I have stuck with it. Some days I’m just not the best, but what I am working on is being okay with that because for that day, that was the best me I could be.

Present: I’m not sure that I’m supposed to do this, but I’m doing it anyway. I’m amending my resolution. Along with being the best me I can be, I’m going to start a Positivity Routine. I’ve noticed at the end of every day when I lay my head on the pillow, the negativity hits me full force; some nights it keeps me up for HOURS because I just can’t calm myself down! My mind racing plus a lack of sleep just continues to add to my already high, sometimes unbearable, stress level. Something HAS to change.

So, I’m making a change. Today. There’s no better time than the present, right? Now, every night when my head hits the pillow, I’m going to think of three positive things that happened that day. If something especially negative happens (e.g. a fight with a friend), I’m going to make sure to find the positive in it. It’s not something monumental, and I hope it’s something that doesn’t take up a ton of time. However, I hope it’s something that starts with a small change and will ultimately lead to a big change in my mentality (and hopefully my stress level).

My head isn’t on my pillow yet, but in order to get off to a good start, I’m sharing day one.

1. I got in to a disagreement with someone I am very close to, BUT I didn’t lose my temper. It was about something we are both passionate about, and I’m glad that I have a relationship with this person and we can share our passions, even if we aren’t always on the same side of the issue.

2. I was able to have a quiet, relaxing day at home to myself. It was much needed.

3. I was able to work on getting organized a little at a time (without getting overwhelmed) for the upcoming semester.

It’s hard at first, I’m not going to lie, but it’s something that will get easier with time. So, I challenge you to do the same. Write them down, keep them to yourself, whatever works best for you. What do you have to lose? If you don’t want to try it, keep this in mind:

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and focus on what could go right.”