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How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?

Office Hours #4: AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Mark Eagle

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#stress #academics #college #careers #family #finances #money #career-search #mental-health #time-management

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John’s Answer

All work and no play can make for a very stressful situation. Too much of something isn’t good for both your mind and physical health. In fact, you’ll discover that spending all your time studying only makes you feel so burned out quickly. Study breaks don’t have to be long. They can be as short as a few minutes away from books and notes. The most important thing is you can rejuvenate and relax. Do you really need the mobile phone while you study? Perhaps you don’t unless you’re using an app that helps you become more productive. Unnecessary technologies can only take your mind away from what you’re doing. When it’s time to concentrate on the lessons, then make sure nothing else steals your attention unless it’s classified as an emergency.

Another stress reliever would be to avoid waiting till the eleventh hour study. A lot of students cram, but it’s never a good idea. One, it turns on the inner panic button, so you can’t expect to retain all the needed information in your mind. Second, you can lose your sense of judgment, so you may end up not covering important lessons. Third, it doesn’t give you any rest. When you’re physically tired, your mind feels the exhaustion, and before you know it, you can’t think straight anymore. Instead of putting it off, hit it head on and get it out of the way (or at least get a part of it out of the way first. If you set aside no more than a half hour or an hour once a day to deal with course work and reading, you’ll feel better in the long run and be better prepared for the next class.

Thank You Kim. Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much. John Frick

Thank You Melisa . “The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.” — Helen Keller John Frick

Thank You Austin. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill John Frick

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Kim’s Answer

Lots of different reasons and types of stress! So, starting with the basics, take care of yourself physically. This means proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep.

Next, learn to compartmentalize (Google it please)! This means locking a topic away in your brain when you are not working on it. Don't think about home at work and work at home. One problem at a time!

Self-confidence. The more you know about a subject, the less stressful it becomes. Also remind yourself, hey, I've done this before, and did okay! It could be public speaking, a job interview, or whatever.

Self-analysis. (the military likes to call it an "after action review." ) Once it's over, sit down and evaluate how you did. What went right? What do you wish you had done differently?

Seriously, the more life experience you acquire, the easier the next problem becomes. . . there's always a first time for everything, even for adults -planning a funeral, for example. You will figure out what works for you - lists, spreadsheets, or whatever.

AND, even while in the midst of dealing with a crisis, take time to exercise. You might not sleep or eat right, but get in some exercise! Seriously. (No, I'm not an exercise nut, but, it really really really helps!)

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Simeon’s Answer

As you get better jobs, you'll be under more pressure from your boss and co-workers. First of all, it's important to do research on the companies you interview with. While better jobs usually come with more stress, each company has a different culture and some have very stressful and toxic cultures. You'll want to see the reviews that former employees have given to the company on Glassdoor. While there will be some disgruntled employees for any company, it's a red flag if there are several bad reviews and they are all consistent about what is stressful/bad about working at the company. Second, it's important to have good emotional boundaries with work. Commit to having a life outside of work so that work stress does not become all consuming. Third, develop your skill sets continually so that you have a competitive resume and can seek out less stressful jobs.

Thank you for this! Lira Pilpil

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Melisa’s Answer

Great question and answers here too! For me, I am passionate about volunteering and helping others. I also think that focusing on what we can do to help others can be a stress reliever in itself.

For example...

You can write cards or make paracord bracelets for http;//operationgratitude.org

Make hats, cards and no-sew fleece blankets for cancer patients and donate them to http://philsfriends.org

There's a great organization in Western MI providing meals to children in need or facing hunger issues. I order bags online and just draw and color encouraging pictures or messages, knowing the bag will be in the hands of a child in need. http://kidsfoodbasket.org

The list goes on and on. And I'm not a medical expert, but I've heard that coloring or doing something artful can have positive effects on our bodies. I often find peace and calm in the act of doing something for someone else.

Have a great day.

Melisa recommends the following next steps:

Find ways you can volunteer to help others in your area, or virtually at sites like http://greatnonprofits.org
Be a light for someone else. Be kind to yourself and others and encourage your friends to volunteer too.

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Lira’s Answer

Dealing with pressure and stressful situation is something I am not good at but trying and learning how to be better at it. I have been trying to deal with this for a very long time but I realised one significant thing: Do not bring your job at home. It is so difficult nowadays because of the situation that does not permit us to divide our working/personal life because most of us are working from home.

I always step back when I feel anxious. I do not take everything to heart and I always plan on something I can look forward to on the weekends. I switch off my work phone at night, spend time with my loved ones and I work out a lot! Good nutrition actually helps, planning my meal makes me relaxed. I find ways to do something for myself, I plan on what activities I need to give my son, plan a date night with my husband and plan to clean the house and look forward to that feeling when I am done. These small things in life can add up and make you feel better when you sleep at night. Anxieties does not go away, but you can be better by trying to do something for yourself even just the little things.

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Carlos’s Answer

A few ways I like to relieve stress or anxiety:
- Be outside! Sitting outside (such as a park, or just outside your house) or even taking a walk for an hour can really help. Look at the sky and the clouds, sit by the grass, watch fishes swim in a pond or squirrels run around. It doesn't seem like much but it helps.
- Exercise! It doesn't have to be anything physically vigorous. Even a brisk walk or a hike can help release chemicals in your brain such as dopamine and endorphins that make you feel happy. Exercise can also help your brain get rid of chemicals that make you feel stressed and anxious.
- Socializing! Hanging out with friends, even over a brief period of time such as grabbing a meal together, can help relieve stress as you can talk about what's on your mind or help distract you from fixating on your problems.
- Finding a hobby you enjoy or meditating have also been known to help.

If the stress or anxiety feels acute, the first thing to do is calm down. Exercises for controlled breathing help keep your heart rate and adrenaline from spiking. Drinking a glass of water can help slow down whatever physical reaction your body elicits.

There are also ways to mitigate stress:
What helps me is staying organized. Knowing what I need to do helps take the guess work out of what to do next. Try building an agenda or a schedule and stick to it.
If problems seem too large to tackle, break them down! Build yourself a guide, piece by piece, on what needs to be done. Remember: you don't climb a mountain in one leap, you do it by putting one foot in front of the other.

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hello! I think stressful or pressure situations will always be a part of our lives in some ways but they can be both bad and good. I think a little bit of stress and pressure can help in getting work done. For example in the Yerkes-Dodson, an optimal amount of pressure will help in performing well while too much or too little will hinder it. So there needs to be balance; if you feel that a situation is becoming too much it is important to take a step away. Even when exercising we often times know we need a break to take a breath so in every case we need a diversion. Short breaks tremendously help as well as doing activities we love. Make sure to find time for hobbies and express yourself as this will help relieve the stress. Journaling is also effective in this case; I use to journal when I was studying for my MCAT exam, sometimes putting things on paper and talking about them helps relieve the pressure of the situation and makes it more manageable because you are acknowledging it.

I hope this helps!
Best of luck!

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Fernando’s Answer

When it comes to dealing with stress I personally like to give my self a bit of space to breathe. If I was working on a task that caused too much stress I take a small break from it and then go back to it with a clear mind. If need be it's important to have a friend to talk to about these things as well.

Don't force yourself to finish a task if you're feeling too stressed out, as often times that will just lead to poor results.

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Samantha’s Answer

I deal with stress by journaling, yoga, tai chi, going for a walk, meditating, or talking to family about it.

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Terry’s Answer

Pressure is where one excels in their professional and personal life. When under pressure you should breath in and out and think the situation over. One cannot let pressure drive their decision making as this will cause stress. Too much stress will eventually have an health affect on your body and mind. My way of dealing with pressure is to take my time and manage the issue as not to cause any stress. Managing issues/pressure is a skill that one should learn early in their career and personal life. DO NOT over react.

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Humza’s Answer

My personal way of dealing with stress, whether in personal or professional circumstances is to always take a step back and think whether the situation in front of me is that severe that is justifies me stressing over it or not. More often than not we end up taking stress over the most minute things, which actually worsens our mental health for no reason. I have a golden rule i.e. 5 by 5, which is basically that I assess if the situation in front of me would be something that I would remember or even think about 5 years down the line. If not's something that sticks with me then, it's not worth stressing now either.

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Angela D.’s Answer

Breathe! In and out! Next, write it out. Make a list of positives and negatives, pro and con. Which list is the longest and why? And get into the argument in your mind...you already know you...so get there!