Can I manage my feelings better so they don’t get in the way of my life?
The short answer is, yes. You can learn ways to combat stress and anxiety better. Of course there is no way to completely get rid of them (life can be a bit unfair like that), but by understanding what triggers your feelings of stress and anxiety, and knowing how to deal with it when they arise, you can definitely feel more in control of how they affect your life.
Remember, there are two causes for stress and anxiety:
- Internal factors - these are the things you can take ownership of and try to manage better so they don’t impact so heavily on your life and emotions, for example a difficult assignment, how you react to situations and your own physical and mental wellbeing.
- External factors - these are the things you can’t control, like an angry customer at work, a family member getting sick, or a global pandemic!
And here’s the trick:
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” (Maya Angelou, American poet).
What it’s saying is that if you keep feeling left out of things with your friends, or that you don’t think your performance at school/work or tertiary study has been very good lately - work out what needs to change to make it better. Maybe your friends don’t know they have been acting that way and when you approach them about it, they apologise. And if your performance has been lacking, see what you can do to improve it, whether that be talking to a teacher, tutor or manager.
And if something happens that is completely out of your control - like a holiday getting cancelled or you have to move out of your flat - it doesn’t need to feel like the end of the world. Maybe your holiday getting cancelled means you can use that money for something else, or finding a new place to live could mean moving closer to work or in with a group of friends.