How to Deal with Stress

Intro: Attempting to stay calm in stressful situations can often be a difficult task. Mantras and deep breathes are the most common relaxers, but sometimes they don’t work as well as they should. High stress situations can affect your mental health, causing conditions such as anxiety and depression.

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In more serious cases stress can cause physical health problems, leading to deathly outcomes like a heart attack. Common places where stress can occur is during public speaking, inside your workplace, and from education. This paper will break down why stress occurs in these places and how to stay calm which in return, can improve productivity in all environments.

Body #1: Public speaking anxiety is a very common problem, so much so that colleges often offer courses pertaining to bettering your public speaking skills. The thought of having to speak in front of a large group of people can be nerve-wracking. Thoughts of people looking at you, listening intently, and judging you can bring about doubts on how well you will be able to perform. Anxiety from public speaking can turn an excellent presentation into a nightmare. There are many ways to counteract the stress that comes along with public speaking: some examples include rehearsing your presentation, getting to know your crowd, and changing your thought patterns. Rehearsing your presentation can be a big help, especially when your mind tends to wander in high stress situations. Writing down key bullet notes and studying different ways of speaking those bullet points is a great way to enhance your ability to phrase sentences and overall make your presentation go a lot smoother. Do not try to memorize your presentation or speech word for word. Say something went wrong during your presentation and your mind loses its focus for a second. It will be very difficult during this stressful event to remember where you left off, causing a delay and bringing upon more stress. Mistakes do happen often: and though it should be nothing to worry about, it’s better to avoid them. Eye contact is also a difficult task to master while presenting. In a room full of people that are focusing on everything you say, it can be difficult to maintain eye contact with specific audience members. Another problem that speakers may encounter is becoming stressed and nervous when they look towards the room full of listeners. Their mind will make the room seem a lot larger than it is, causing the anxiety to settle in. A solution to these problems could be trying to make the room smaller during your presentation. Hone in on one person for a couple seconds: try to make it seem like a one-on-one conversation for that short amount of time. It’s a lot easier to stay calm when you are speaking to one person instead a whole room full of people. Another trouble that happens often is just having the ability to make eye contact with someone. A method to help this challenge is to stare at their forehead instead of directly into their eyes. Staring directly in to a person’s eyes is intimidating, because you know that they are listening to you intently. Focusing on the forehead can reduce this intimidation by easing the ideas that the person is judging you. A room full of people can instill stress and anxiety upon the strongest of minds. Implementing these solutions slowly and practicing your speaking skills can help relax and calm your conscious while presenting.

Body #2: Endless repetitive days and sometimes incompetent managers can create an immense amount of stress within the workplace. Workplace stress can lead to numerous unhealthy outcomes. Health, coping mechanisms, and home life can all be affected by the frustrations accumulated over time during work. Physical health can massively deteriorate if not maintained properly throughout work. Exercise is a great way to keep your body in great shape and help your mentality. Taking a walk or jog during your lunch break can help alleviate stress from the first half of the day and prepare you for what’s to come. Something to avoid is using unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drugs or alcohol to deal with stress. These are only temporary fixes and in the long run, only makes it worse. Cutting out negative habits like smoking and excessive drinking can drastically improve the quality of your work and can ease your mind a great deal.

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