July 2, 2014

5 Ways to Deal with Stress

Greetings, everyone. July is already here, and although there is still quite a bit of summer left, I've already found myself preoccupied with making arrangements for this coming school year. I suddenly began making a small hill of stress as I began piling up my plate with more challenging classes, finding a position working in a health psychology lab, taking a leadership role in the university's neuroscience club, and landing a new job. I am so ecstatic to be starting each of these new things, but as I begin to think about my leisurely schedule freshman year, I feel this little shadow of anxiety and doubt creep on when I consider what it could be like participating in these activities in addition to my previous routine of taekwondo training, writing, music, and chilling with friends...

But I guess, being a workaholic of sorts, this coming school year's schedule isn't what concerns me the most. 

No, it's thinking about how expensive medical school will be in the (relatively) very far future. 

...Say what?

So, yeah. I've just realized that I am experiencing some anxiety.

And I can be sure that many of you out there are facing it, or will be facing it soon. (If my list stirred any stress in my fellow students out there, I'm so sorry!) Some of my friends are taking on the responsibilities of owning apartments for the first time, some have just started new jobs, some are getting ready to apply to college, some are moving out of home. Most are looking at major changes in their lives. Are you experiencing or anticipating change right now? 

Often, change (even just thinking about change) brings on some anxiety. Of course, how you feel depends on both your situation and personality, but here are my top five methods to mitigate the stress; I hope one, two, three, or all of them will work for you! 
  1. Don't worry about tomorrow. This may sound a bit cliche, but cliches do exist for a reason. (Is it cliche to say that too?) If you just focus on what you can do today, and then do your best to finish all of those things with as much energy you can muster now, trust God and yourself that tomorrow will also be a good and productive day. 
  2. Remind yourself why you're doing what you're doing. The end result should ultimately be because it makes either you or another person happy. Stressed about an internship? You'll need that internship to ensure a good job to be able to take care of yourself and your family. Nervous about moving out? You need to do it so that you can find your independence, your freedom. 
  3. Focus on the positives. Hopefully, this will tie into #2 at least a little bit because if your reasons for doing something are all negative, is there really a point in doing it? But now try extending that aura of goodness to the rest of the change occurring in your life. These new challenges and experiences are opportunities to learn and grow. Focus on the lessons you'll learn, the friendships you'll form, the character you'll develop, and the new memories you'll make each day as change takes place. 
  4. Get active. Those of you who've been with me for a while now may have seen this one coming, but there are few things that center and calm me as well as physical activity. I've done a variety of exercise, from high intensity running and circuits--to relaxing, meditative yoga. No matter what form the activity may take, try dedicating a couple hours a week to it and see how much it'll improve your determination and focus in all aspects of life!
  5. Remember this blog's title. Don't underestimate the power of your smile! Seriously, just smile for a second. Now hold it for five seconds: one, two, three...four...and five! How do you feel? 
How do you deal with stress? Let me know in the comments below. Don't forget to share and subscribe!

Smile on,
-Riley XO


  1. Oh wow you're applying for medical too? That's great :D I've been taking MCAT classes this summer to give the exam in August ish. I should be a little stressed (since I've never studied about 20% of the MCAT syllabus) but I'm cool o.o idk why though o.o

  2. Haha, thanks for your comment Catalina! It's awesome that you're already getting ready for the MCAT! Would you recommend taking the class? As long as you buckle down and study tons I'm sure you'll do great :) Good luck! :)

  3. You've got some great insight and this was much needed! Have a blessed day!


  4. Thank you Toni! I hope you have a wonderful day too! :)

  5. I usually listen to music, instrumental music. I'm also pretty worried about going to school again. I take piano lessons, I have tuition, and I join an orchestra outside of school. I've graduated from 10th grade but I've not really studied in the holiday which makes me a teeny bit worried. You see, I think a lot of us have a hectic schedule lol.
    I think all those tips are great, although it can be tough for me to be optimistic in the face of stress. I suppose I just need a change of attitude. I really agree with exercising!

    www.whimsicalyoungster.blogspot.com just my musings

  6. So, on a completely unrelated note, I nominated you for the Sunshine Award!
    And I wanted to ask if you've ever done a post on gaining self confidence or something like that? I like the positive tone you use on posts like these and I'm a bit struggling with my self confidence at the moment...

  7. Whimsical Youngster: It sounds like a very busy life! I think that listening to classical/instrumental music would be a great way to connect with our inner emotions better. Music can capture so much and convey powerful messages. Thank you for your comment :)

    Envy: Thank you so much for the Sunshine Award! I am so grateful for your readership and feel blessed to know that you enjoy my blog. I haven't written specifically on gaining self confidence, but on your request I shall write on the topic in the near future. However, there are some posts in the archive that I think you may possibly find useful, which I will be sending to you via email. God bless!


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