Ask the Team: How Should I Deal With Stress?

Stress can be a horrible thing. It can lead to depression and all other sorts of problems and cause you to lose basic functionality as a human being. Once this happens your workload grows increasingly greater and this ultimately leads to more stress. You see, this is a never ending cycle and it leads many young people to take desperate actions because they cannot see any way out. 

Well, let me tell you, it doesn’t get better because as you grow older you will only face greater problems. High school leads to college, college leads to work, and work lasts a very long time. If we want to be able to function as humans or more importantly, useful servants of God we need to find a way to deal with the problem of stress. 

The solution to this problem is joy. Do not confuse what I’m saying here with happiness because they are not the same. Joy you see, is a choice. Happiness is a feeling that comes and goes depending on your circumstances but joy comes from your perception of things. Your stressful school life becomes a whole lot less stressful when you realise why you’re here. We’re here to serve God and have a relationship with him and he will never make us deal with our problems on our own. 

Perhaps you’re struggling through some trials right now and the stress is overwhelming but doesn’t it feel nice to know that all this pain you’re feeling will make you stronger? Don’t you think it amazing to know that God is in control of every aspect of your life? God will use pain to teach you because that’s probably the best way to learn. 

I know what it’s like to hurt. It’s not pleasant and the tension and stress grow with every passing day and I used to struggle with that sort of thing until I realised that the pain made me stronger. I realised that I’m the master of my pain, my stress, all the bad things in my life. They help me connect with those around me who suffer with the same things. I found joy when I stopped fighting the stress and looked at it for what it was: a gift that helps me reach those who need reaching. 

My fellow author on this post makes an awesome point, how amazing is it that God is in control of every aspect of our lives!? Brandon got straight to the heart of the matter. My contribution to this article is focusing on practical ways to deal with stress. Like mentioned before, stress is horrible and it is only going to get worse. As young people we deal with a lot more stress than people sometimes realise. So what can we do? 

Firstly, as mentioned before, by deciding to be joyful. It’s a choice and a change of mindset. But this does not happen with the snap of our fingers. The advice we usually give you guys often (if not always) contains the same word: prayer. I cannot emphasise the power of prayer enough. Give your stresses to God. This won’t make them go away, BUT giving them to someone who actually has control over them and has your best interests at heart is very comforting. 

Secondly, breathe, just stop for a moment and be realistic, can you do anything about the situation? If you can’t, leave it up to God (not easy to do, trust me, but it is possible). If you can, then do that to the best of your ability. Even if it doesn’t seem to cut it, your best is enough. If you have done all you can, then let it go.

Which brings me to my next point. Sing. No, I’m not crazy, just sing a silly song at the top of your lungs, it doesn’t matter where or how well you can sing. Just sing along with your favorite song. Still think I am crazy? Okay, yes I am crazy, but it helps me, so don’t judge. Just try it.

Relax. I know what deadlines are like and I know there isn’t always time to just do nothing. Trust me, I am the voice of experience with having too much work and too little time. But you can’t keep going like a machine. So take breaks for a few minutes, whether you go for a walk around your house, or make a cup of coffee or watch a silly youtube video or read (whatever works for you). Just take your poor tired brain off the thing that you are stressing about. Now don’t take this as an excuse to be lazy. If it is work that you are stressing about, break your work into little pieces, taking a couple of minute breaks after each section. This makes it more manageable.

On the topic of stress because of work, DO NOT procrastinate. It leads to stress because now you have a deadline and so much work. As hard as this sounds, please for your own sake, just start the work on time. 

Now there are much bigger things in life that you can stress about besides work I know. So my last piece of advice is to talk to a friend, a close trusted friend who cares about it. They might not be able to fix your problem, but having someone else carry the burden with you helps more than you realise. 

This article is not going to fix all the problems and stresses that you have, but from me and the rest of the team, we hope that it helps you a bit!

~ Brandon and Elri

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