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How I Have Learned to Deal with Stress and Anxiety

January 16, 2024 Martha Lueck

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me to edit an article that caused great stress and anxiety. I agreed to do this, not knowing how complex the text would be. After a few minutes, I stressed out about why I couldn't comprehend the content. My stress soon morphed into anxiety, pounding my head with thoughts like, "I'm so stupid, and If I can't edit this piece, my friend will be disappointed." I was tempted to give up and apologize to my friend. But before I did, I remembered that my stress and anxiety didn't have to consume me. To learn more about my experience with stress and anxiety and how I have learned to deal with them, continue reading this post.

My Childhood Experience with Stress and Anxiety

I have dealt with extreme stress and anxiety for my entire life. During my childhood, I stressed out about grades, friendships, bullies, relationships, etc. I thought that if I made one mistake or said one wrong thing, everyone would think I was stupid. I thought bad things would happen, like being abused by classmates and failing my classes. My dad often reminded me that I worried about things that might not even happen.

But looking back, it was beyond worry and stress. It was anxiety that stemmed from a series of embarrassing and stressful experiences. They became so heavy that I couldn't enjoy my life or improve my self-esteem. My dad was right. I worried too much about things that didn't even exist at those moments.

My Anxiety Diagnosis Helped Me Grow from Stress

Now that I am in my 30s, more than nine years after my anxiety diagnosis, I have learned so many things about stress and anxiety. For one, I have become more mindful of when the feelings become all-consuming. It's easier to rationalize my mind by telling myself affirmations like the following:

  • Mistakes make me human. They do not predict my future.
  • I have succeeded at difficult tasks in the past. I can do the same now and in the future. 
  • My trials give me opportunities for growth and wisdom.
  • Simply making an effort to excel at stressful tasks will lead to progress.
  • Everything in life is stressful sometimes, including my passions. It is better to enjoy the process than stress out about the results.

I am not saying that stressful situations must be confronted and embraced all the time. It is important to validate my feelings. When a stressful event triggers full-blown anxiety, it is often best to step away from it for a while. My anxiety sometimes needs to simmer enough for me to process it.

Taking a Break During Stressful or Anxiety-Provoking Tasks

After reading part of my friend's article, I took a break from it. To relax, I did some art and took a short walk. After returning to the article, I understood some of the content more. Even though I still couldn't edit it before my friend's due date, it was okay. She was happy that I tried. Now, I can breathe, knowing that my stress and anxiety do not define reality.

Now that you know about my perspective on stress and anxiety, I'm curious to know about your views on the struggle. Have you ever overcome a stressful or overwhelming situation? How has it impacted your life? How can you use it to your advantage in the future?

APA Reference
Lueck, M. (2024, January 16). How I Have Learned to Deal with Stress and Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2024/1/how-i-have-learned-to-deal-with-stress-and-anxiety



Author: Martha Lueck

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