Dealing with stress

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Dealing with Stress

Leadership and Decision Making
Fall 2002

"Dealing with Stress"
December 4, 2002
In today’s fast-paced society, people struggle with the stresses of daily life, more so now than ever. With all of the high-tech equipment that was designed to make life easier and allow more time to do the things they want to do, it seems that there is even less time. Stress rears its ugly head in many different forms. Time and money (or lack of the two), personal relationships, careers, and illness are all things that may cause stress. People often have trouble dealing with stress. However, there are effective ways to handle stress. Stress can and needs to be managed to live life to its fullest.

There have been many things that have caused me stress. One thing that has caused me stress was a previous job. I was working all the time it seemed. I worked sixty to seventy hours per week for almost four years solid. It made it worse that I was working twelve-hour shifts at night. I was never at home while my children were awake. I was making great money but I was making the ultimate sacrifice. At the time I felt like I had to do it to be able to pay my bills. The truth was I really didn’t need to, instead, I needed to control our frivolous spending habits. The environment in the workplace also got bad enough that it was stressful as well.
The second thing that has caused me great stress is the fact that I have made some poor financial decisions. With all of the overtime I was working I had more money than I was use to. Being young and not having had experience having money like I had, I began to borrow a lot of money, and acquire numerous credit cards. I could walk in any bank and walk out with a loan! I had always heard of living beyond your means but I didn’t realize that I was doing just that. Before long my income/debt ratio had reached a ridiculous level. Although, it has caused a lot of stress, I have learned a great deal about finances and I am still learning.
Another thing that has caused me stress is the fact that I have been going to school off and on for nine years and I still haven’t earned my Associate’s degree. Now that I am only four classes away is helping relieve my stress because I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. The fact that I will still have about two years of attending school before I earn my Bachelors’ degree is a little stressful. I look forward to finishing school and finding a job I enjoy that pays well. I am excited about finding a job that I feel I am making a significant contribution to the company.
     Time is one of the major factors of stress for not only me but I think for many people that juggle careers, children, and marriage. We crave more time but before you know it is gone. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do the things we have to do, much less all the things that we want to do.
There are several ways I handle my stress. I feel like it is necessary for people to have some kind of outlet to vent their frustrations, a stress reliever of sorts. I take on hobbies to help relieve my tension and stress. One of my hobbies is baseball. Last summer I found out about an adult baseball league for men. We played almost every Sunday from June to October. This was very therapeutic for me. Another hobby I have is playing the guitar. When I was young I developed a love for music of all types. I had always wanted to play the guitar or drums. I was twenty years old when I got my first guitar. I found that I had a natural ability to hear the music and teach myself how to play. Although I am not very good due to lack of practice time, I still enjoy trying to play and trying to learn it. When I am not playing the guitar, I also love to listen to music. I appreciate any kind of music from classical to rock as long as there is originality and a sense of soul to the music. It should have feeling. Music is like another form of therapy for me. It helps me to relax and give me an overall sense of well being at times. Probably the most effective type of stress relief that I have found is laughter. When I feel overwhelmed from stresses at home or work, laughter is a definite cure. I’ll often watch a funny television show or movie and that does wonders. If I can’t find something funny on television I will look for some jokes to read on the Internet. Nine times out of ten, comedy will change my mood for the better.
Obviously, with everyone having different personalities and different tastes, it is essential that people find their own ways to relieve stress. What works for me is probably not going to work for the masses. Everyone has the ability to find the most effective way to relieve their stress. Stress is often times overwhelming for many people. Sometimes when things aren’t going your way it is hard to think about what might cheer you up. One of my most favorite quotes is "Don’t sweat the small stuff. Everything is small stuff." I haven’t exactly learned how to live by this philosophy yet but it is something that I hope to achieve in the near future.



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