It is unbelievable how many young adults now admit to be suffering from stress. It’s even more unbelievable how many of these youngsters even take it for granted and have accepted stress as a natural, eventual part of their daily lives. In fact, many people view stress as a household name.
I admit that stress is really a byproduct of work and home. Sometimes things just get out of control and some days demand a lot from us; a lot more than what we can only give. However, the mindset that it is “part of what we are paid for” or “how life simply is” is absolutely wrong. Stress is closely linked to various feelings of guilt and restlessness, which can eventually lead to difficulty in sleeping and other serious illnesses. And boy, those things are far from “natural”.
As panacea, most of us consider going to the spa. However, those hour-long massages can only do so much. Movies are great for unwinding too, but waiting for that movie that fits your preferred genre may take some time and effort. Some would resort to food trips, but they can also cause hefty credit card bills and/ or obesity. When we gain so much weight, we also get more stressed because we realize later that we have to lose them anyway. For those who know that these spa, food and movie trips are simply not enough, they’d resort to actual medication.
I remember the time when I was downtrodden. I took “anti-depressants” and really, they weren’t that effective. Maybe they helped me sleep better at night (I took less antihistamines) but over-all, they were just extra expenses. I opened up my problems to a friend (who is a registered nurse) and she told me that I should stop taking those because they have side effects. Instead, she told me that stress needs a lifestyle overhaul for me to really combat it long-term.
So there. There is no panacea for stress. Especially if it’s a part of your life.
The best way to slowly beat stress is to take things a little bit easier. This includes letting go of the things which upset you in a faster way, especially if they are things which you really can do nothing about. These things include mistakes done in the past, hurtful things told to you and destructive criticism. Remember that part of a famous prayer where you are encouraged to ask for “the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference”. That’s it. Keep saying that prayer and before you know it, you’ll be living a less stressful life.
Moreover, a lot of psychologists swear by meditation as the strongest way to beat stress. This means that, at least once a day, take a few minutes off your daily grind and use that time to focus on yourself. If you are feeling a little bit suffocated, or that there are things that you wanted to say or feelings you want to admit to yourself, release them. You may also use this time to pray so you’ll have a feeling that you are “heard” and “listened to”.
Lately, I also realized that of all the cliche things we do to beat stress (a.k.a. watching a dvd at home, listening to soothing music, going to the spa, yoga, etc.), they have one common denominator: these things are best enjoyed alone. Maybe, this is because it is during these times that we get to meditate and undress ourselves of the things that we feel that we need to have when we are in front of others.
Here in Davao, we are lucky that there are a lot of ways, places and chances for meditation. Even if you’re in the city, you can take a 20minute ride to the lush greens of those tourist spots near Crocodile Park. You can even bond with nature while you’re there. Or head to People’s park for more colorful surroundings. Or take a short drive to Hilltop and shout your heart out. If you have a day to spare, try visiting Mt. Apo Highlands in Kapatagan; the place is divine.
More feel-good tips? Comment some below or tell me via Twitter (twitter.com/karlastefan).