In the daily grind of being a student and performing work duties day in day out, it’s easy to lose sight of your goals and concentrate on life’s little obstacles. If we don’t have effective coping strategies in place to deal with the inevitable stress of everyday problems we could develop psychosomatic illnesses and/ or become incapacitated in performing our studies effectively. Consequently, developing effective coping strategies is vital to sustaining your overall health, well-being and learning performance.
So, how can we sustain a positive outlook and tackle stress constructively? Well, as we all know, there are many self-help books and life coach gurus out there in infomercial land, ready to take your credit card details and send you a tape of cheerful affirmations. And for some people, this system of flooding the mind with ego-massaging messages really does work! But for others, such methods are as irritating as a 100 bull ants making a beeline for your picnic hamper. In short, there is no one fix solution for combating (student related and workplace) stress.
However, there are a great many and variety of coping strategies which enable students to manage their responses/ behaviours towards situations they identify as being stressful. The unifying key to many of these strategies is to place the locus of power/ control within yourself as opposed to focusing possible solutions on the external environment (which often times is not controllable).
By becoming mindful of your response to certain situations, you are harnessing a level of awareness which is vital if you are to understand and then manage your auto-response to situations you personally identity as being stressful. It also follows that as individuals, we each are responsible for our own response to stressful situations and how we manage them: essentially, we each have a choice every time a stressful situation presents itself to either engage in a proactive and healthy response/ behaviour or in a dis-empowering and ultimately toxic response/ behaviour.
So, as they say, “practice makes perfect”: next time a stressful situation presents itself to you, instead of downing a packet of chocolate biscuits, try employing an energising coping strategy that gives you the ‘Winning Spirit’ to overcome adversity.
Interestingly, recent Australian studies claim that an individual’s ability to tackle adversity proactively (i.e. exhibiting a high Adversity Quotient) is correlated with the attainment of “success.” So don’t just sit there and wallow in paralyzing self-pity next time stress comes knocking at your door, take immediate constructive steps to deal with the ‘stress’ head-on. Show a little fortitude and resilience too; life’s too short to waste on stressing about stress! So take a deep breathe….revive, relax & enjoy the journey! To get the ball rolling, here’s a snippet of advice from “The Winning Spirit: Sixteen Timeless Principles That Drive Performance Excellence” by Joe Montana, Bruce Henderson, Tom Mitchell:
- Know What You Want: First, identify goals, then turn clarity into action.
- Strive for Excellence: Surpass expectations and reach new heights
- Fail Fast and Move On: Take chances, learn from mistakes, and keep pressing forward–
- Don’t let fear or regret take you out of the game.
- Welcome Pressure: Want to be the best? Work with or compete against the best!
- Walk Like a Champ: Your life is not just about achieving success, but also about having a purpose and creating significance.