Getting stressed is a natural, normal and constant part of our lives. 

How we experience stress can range from a temporary feeling of tension to a crippling, consuming and traumatic state of distress in extreme situations. 

Stress is an automatic physical and psychological response to our environment when we are presented with challenges. It’s is built into our DNA to help us respond to perceived threats.

Behind stress is energy, which can either be harnessed to improve performance or break us down. It all depends on how you react to it

Though everyone experiences stress differently, in different situations, some of the most common triggers experienced by MyComputerCareer students are:

  • Keeping up in class
  • Taking certification exams
  • Meeting financial obligations
  • Balancing school and work and family commitments
  • Working through relationship issues

Stress is a part of you. However, with the right attitude and a little practice, you can learn to manage it more effectively, which is the best way to reduce its negative effects.

If you feel your stress mounting, walk yourself through the following steps. If you really want to maximize your progress, write down your experiences with and reactions to taking each step:

  1. Pay attention to your stress:  reflect on what thoughts being stressed is causing and how it is making your body feel
  2. Disconnect who you are from when you are stressed:  remind yourself that this is not who you are, it’s a reaction to a problem that needs to be solved
  3. Commit to taking one step:  think of realistic ideas for how to start to address the situation causing you to feel stressed
  4. Ask for help:  explore opportunities to involve other people, such as delegating tasks or sharing your feelings with someone you trust 

If you tried the above strategies but find that your stress persists or is particularly hard to deal with, it may be more than just being stressed; you may be instead experiencing symptoms of Anxiety Disorder or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Until next time, wishing you good mental health!

-Mychal Ostler, Counseling Services Manager