I recently stumbled upon a classmate’s blog about personal struggles in life. This struck close to home for me as I have been going through similar times recently. From as far back as I can remember, I would always get easily stressed out if anything had gone awry at school, at work, or in personal relationships. I had often times been in denial of certain aspects of my life and would put issues on the back burner (which, of course, came back with a vengeance). Spontaneity and low self esteem at a young age also affected my ability to make confident and rational decisions – which led to more stress. And at a young age, I wasn’t dealing with this stress in the healthiest ways.
However, despite all this, I have learned how to cope with personal daily struggles in healthier, more productive ways:
- Yoga/Running: The physiological and psychological effects of yoga are extensive. I have pushed myself to limits I did not know I could reach not only with my yoga practice, but also with my running. Setting goals and working hard to achieve them (in my case, a few half marathons and the Marine Corps Marathon) boosts confidence and gives one a very strong sense of accomplishment. These physical activities not only help focus on the present moment, but also has long-term, problem-solving benefits.
- Group and Individual Therapy: Independently seeking self-help was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Although some may argue that therapy isn’t for everyone (which I completely agree with), it really worked for me. I’ve learned so much about myself through this method of self-exploration, and I’m able to put things into perspective more quickly.
Another method of coping that I am going to be pursuing very soon (starting April) is volunteering for the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, Maryland. However, I should admit that I am first and foremost volunteering to help adults how to read, which would help them get better jobs…thus creating a better world. From previous volunteering opportunities, I learned that it gave me a good sense of self.
With the rising stress levels of American citizens during the current economic crisis, it is essential that people understand the methods of stress management, and apply them, so that they can lead healthier and happier lives 🙂