Why Being Stressed is a Good Thing

Stress. Everyone gets it. But sometimes, it can feel as if you get so swallowed up by it that you can no longer function. Going to college and living in a place where you are constantly working and studying can be overwhelming at times, and it can make one feel as if they are unable to get anything done since there is too much. But when is too early to feel that much stress? And how can you tell where the good stress ends and the bad stress begins?

                                                                         Image courtesy of Pixabay

As we entered the fourth week of classes, I felt myself wonder why I was feeling so worked up about school all the time. To me, everyone in my classes and all of my friends seemed to be on top of everything, doing their work and understanding whatever they were reading. But I didn’t. I kept feeling like the work that I was doing was not enough, like no matter how many hours I set aside to do a reading, write a paper or answer an email, nothing seemed to be good enough for me.

Then, I felt my stress starting to stress me out. I questioned why I was feeling this way. Why wasn’t I as capable of getting everything done like everyone else? The only way that I knew to get myself out of this never-ending cycle of stress and fear was to allow myself to feel what I was feeling. I repeated to myself that it was not too early to be stressed since there really isn’t an “appropriate” point to start feeling like everything was catching up with you. The best way to start feeling less stressed is to recognize that your feelings are valid.

I also started talking to others about what I was feeling. Being stressed can sometimes feel like a very isolating experience, but it’s important to find people that you trust and share with them what you’re going through. Sometimes, the people around you may not be as on top of everything as you think they are. They struggle just like you, and that may help you to know that you’re all on the same page.

Although being stressed may seem like the worst feeling in the world, having stress in your life allows you to learn how to care for yourself. It’s important to deal with your stress early on to prevent it from reaching that intense point where life doesn’t feel doable anymore. Stress does push you to open up, and especially to find your own boundaries. Remember that your stress is unique to you: you are the only one that will be able to navigate how to handle it and how to deal with it. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t. In fact, you may be better at it than you think.