My Three Little Bits of Advice to Defy Stress

It’s no surprise that a new school year has the potential to bring exciting new chapters and adventures within our lives.  Additionally, a new school year may also bring new people, new faces, new knowledge and somewhat unavoidably new stress. However, what may or may not be surprising is that we don’t have to let stress define our state of happiness, joy, or wellbeing.

There is a fabulous TED Talk by Kelly McGonigal, a psychologist at Stanford University, who essentially talks about how to make stress your new friend.

For me, the great takeaway from this TED Talk was realizing that this thing, this state of being, or change within our bodies known as stress, has notoriously overtaken and overwhelmed many individuals for so long, however stress does not have to have as much power as we grant it. Once we realize that we hold the power within ourselves to reclaim our happiness, our joy, and our overall mental state of well-being, we deny stress any and all power.

So, my three little bits of advice for defying stress this school semester, school year, the many more school years to come, or new chapters of adulthood, are as follow:


     1. Smile 

For one, smiling is contagious; all it takes is one to start a chain reaction. Try finding something within your life that just makes you smile. That could be a picture of a tiny little puppy sticking its tongue out or the way a tree may twists its trunk as if it is trying to stretch and reach for the sky.


     2. Laugh 

Laughing is one of those things that can come out of nowhere and seem to go on forever. Try planning a study date with friends at Starbucks and just allow carefree conversations or occurrences to intermingle with your study session; it may be surprising what little pockets of laughter are waiting within a Starbucks.


      3. Smile and laugh some more 

Lastly, just try smiling and laughing as much and frequently as you can (of course when the time, place, and space call for it . . . or when it’s appropriate, avoiding an awkward laugh can save one much embarrassment).


These three tips can be implemented into our lives through an array of ways.

Whether or not we believe in the smile we give off or the laugh that eases from our lungs, if we do it enough we will eventually begin to actually embrace the action and behavior of smiling and laughing that we are engaging in. And by doing so, we can work towards overcoming stress or at least limit its power over us and continue on with our fabulously beautiful lives.

We have to believe that we hold the power to alter and affect our state of well-being for the better, stress isn’t so bad…not unless we say so. Just remember, whatever is causing you stress is not worth your health, you got this.