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February 23, 2023

How to Handle With Stress In Our Transition

Life has many stages: Infancy, Early Childhood, School Age, Transition To Adulthood, Adulthood, Ageing.

Every time we reach the transition, fear and anxiety appear.

Some can quickly manage these negative feelings and gain achievements. On the contrary, others are immersed in a chaotic mentality and lose life’s purpose.

Why Do We Feel Anxiety and Fear of Change?

When we face unknowns, challenges and threats in our life, the feeling of anxiety and fear appear uncontrolled.

The body will produce signals to warn us that we must find ways to protect ourselves.

This reaction is normal and beneficial for human development and self-protect

However, suppose we don’t know the precise origin of negative feelings and learn how to control them. In that case, we will drop into worry repetition, and gradually, we will be uncomfortable even with the tiny changes. And in the end, we easily give up opportunities and our passion or never have a peaceful mind

Finding the Specific Reasons for Negative Feelings and How to Face With Them

There are many reasons for depression when we are in transition.

1. From lifestyle

Now, please think about yesterday and ask ourselves:  how many hours we slept, what we ate, and whether we have done exercise yet.

If the answers are that we slept less than 8 hours/per day, ate fast food, and did not exercise, we might be in an unhealthy lifestyle.

An unhealthy lifestyle and hormone changes in this stage will make us overwhelmed.

The old said, “The finest mind is only in the strong body”. When we sleep enough, eat healthy meals, and exercise regularly, the body is energetic, and the mind is brilliant at analysing and handling the hassles.

Take action: plan a daily (or weekly) timetable to oversee activities and build good habits

2. From knowledge and skills

When we feel fear and worry about the unknown or challenges, it might be that we don’t have enough self-confidence.

The distrust of ourself can come from the fact that we haven’t trained in this field or know about it but never applied it in practical situations.

The point here is we assess ourselves too soon and too pessimistically. And the advice here is to try our dream and never give up.

If we don’t have knowledge and skills in a new field, we can learn it and keep practising every day. Today, the source of knowledge is open, and we can study from books, social media, clubs or online/offline courses.

“Nothing is impossible” and “No one is perfect” are idioms that can help us overcome any barriers in life.

Take action: Research situations, determine goals, what we should learn, and how to do it.

3. From analysing ability, courage and patience.

There are many skills and virtues we should learn and develop. However, analysing ability, courage and patience are the most important things to know to overcome the transition fear.

Imagine I want to be a food consultant, but my major is business administration. This time, I know I should learn about the food industry to achieve my dream, but I study a lot and have no progress. In the end, I give up and feel disappointed in myself.

We are in the open world, and there is much information for us to learn. But we might also kill our dream if we can’t filter and analyse what is good and bad for us. Therefore, we should have the analytical ability. It is a compass helping us to go in the right direction.

Besides, courage and patience as two friends always remind us who we are, what we want, and we are the main character in our life; no one can destroy it.

Take action: Face the current problem. Analyse the worst and best scenarios of it. Find who/which can help us, establish the best solution, and write it out in the notebook. Now, we are courageous and patient to follow this plan. And it would help if we regularly analyse the progress to revise as needed.

4. From family, friends, and relatives 

Have you ever heard about comparison, discouraging words or superficial advice from your family, relatives and friends? such as

  • “Don’t do that; you’ve never done it before, and it will give you trouble”,
  • “You are so young (or too old or no qualifications), you can’t do this job; stop thinking about silly things”,
  • “Why are you so greedy? Your job is good, making more money than many people. You should continue to work and never think about quitting your present job again.”

Good advice will never include negative thinking. In contrast, it must have a helpful analysis, informative sources and encouraging words.

Regardless the advisers agree with our thoughts or not, they also respect our decisions and encourage our plans in their best. Because they know: every journey (bad or good) always gives us a precious lesson.

Our family, relatives or friends are not necessarily good or bad when they give us advice. Maybe they also don’t know how to live life to the fullest. Therefore, please consider and filter helpful advice to apply, and don’t let unfavourable thoughts get in our way.

Take action: Listen to advice as a non-related person, then analyse them and absorb which one is useful for us.

5. From environment 

External factors such as the working space, scent, accessories, etc., can affect our emotions.

A new environment can make us feel uncomfortable, or a noisy and cramped workplace can cause us stress. Therefore, we should establish an environment where we have a sense of belonging to eliminate negative feelings.

Take action: find motivating objects, then always bring them along. For example, I usually wear a wristwatch which my mother gave me. It makes me feel calmer when bringing.

One Method Can Help Us Practising Solutions for Dealing with Stress Effectively

With some of the reasons and solutions listed above, we may find ways to handle our negative feelings. But, it’s not simple in the first stage, and we are usually prone to give up and return to our previous negative status.

Therefore, there needs to be one effective method that reminds us to practise and supervise our daily activities.

It is called MINDFULNESS.

The WHO released An Illustrated Guide: Doing What Matters in Time of Stress which helps everyone overcome anxiety, fear, anger, and other harmful feelings. The information in this document also matches the Mindfulness technique.

The document instructs that we should focus on our present. Any time we feel rehooked by negative emotions, we unhook them by refocusing our present activities (it can be refocusing our breath, feeling our stretching of hands)

Mindfulness will help us come back to our real life. We know we are alive and see what we’re doing and how we’re feeling, and now every challenge we face is only a game, an experience. The thing we need to do is focus on playing it, not escape it.

Writer: Emma Pham

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