The Toxicity of Stress

Throughout this year, we as individuals have had to face continuous hardships in our personal lives. In this, many of us have taken on an immense amount of stress without even realizing the negative impacts. With work and school resuming, many of us have been faced with yet another source of stress. However, allowing stress to take over your life can lead to a detrimental effect on your mental health and hinder the goals that you have set for yourself. There are ways to combat this in order to maintain a positive mindset and space.

As human beings, we have the urge to want to succeed in all that we do. We set particular goals for ourselves that we hope to accomplish at a particular moment in our lives. These are goals that vary based on each individual, whether they are education, lifestyle, or work-related. When setting these goals, it is almost as though we are setting an expectation of ourselves that we want to achieve. This puts us under self-inflicted stress, whether we are aware or not. Furthermore, it can lead us to feel pressured to meet these standards, even if it may not be what’s best for us at that moment.

Allowing stress to be a factor that takes over your life can lead to many different consequences regarding your mental and physical health. In terms of your mental health, stress from self-expectations can lead to a negative, self-deprecating mindset. You may begin to feel disappointed with your work regardless of how it is perceived by others. Additionally, you may feel no motivation to maintain your daily lifestyle and responsibilities due to the due date and deadline-related anxiety.

An important way to ensure that stress doesn’t take over your life is to dedicate time to yourself. This time can be for whatever you like, whether it be some lazy time, a movie night or an evening of self-care. Allowing yourself this time and space gives your body and mind the rest it needs from your normal, busy life. For example, allotting 15 minutes of your day to something like journaling can help reduce your stress level by allowing you an outlet for your thoughts. You can write whatever comes to mind; positive events occurring throughout the day or the daily goals you accomplished are all great things to write about.

It is easy to get overwhelmed. As college students, we are conditioned to work nonstop to meet due dates and deadlines. When we aren’t doing something, we often feel the itch to be productive and do something. But in order to be the most successful and productive we can be, we must learn how to manage our habits and actions to keep our stress levels low and our mental health well.

Try out any of the tips in this article? Let us know by tagging us @HerCampusSJSU on Instagram and Twitter!