A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
When you look at it that way, it seems like such a simple element in our daily lives. But at the moment, it may be the one thing that makes or breaks you.
My whole life, I have been a student-athlete. Growing up, I didn't really know what stress was until I was about 13 or 14. Actually, it's probably better to say that I didn't have much of it. Then one day it kind of switched. Suddenly I was faced with all of these tasks that needed to be done at the same time and I had no idea how to do them all. Whether it was finishing my homework because I had a late practice or being so tired from a workout that I couldn't even get up. But nonetheless, I found myself drowning in it at times.
Then, once I hit 16 and was diagnosed with anxiety, all hell broke loose. The floodgates were opened, and the water was just pouring in. My stress usually comes out as fatigue. Trying to fit my classes, homework, and sleep into my aching body's daily workout schedule. It is a struggle most days because I feel like I can't move.
I honestly can't count how many times I have had stress induced panic attacks just out of nowhere. They are scary and unnerving, and most of the time, they just cause even more stress.
A few years ago, my travel soccer coach had my team and I write two letters. One to stress and one to pressure. Writing this out was probably one of the most beneficial things I've done, even if I didn't realize it at the time. I was able to put how I felt into words and actually understand what it was to me and what it did to me.
Stress has broken me down to a point of seemingly no return, but it also lifted me up to be and do some of my greatest achievements. We are all faced with our own trials and tribulations, and we just have to put our big girl/boy pants on and saddle up.
Stress will never go away completely. There will always be something that gets in the way or stresses you out, but sadly it is just a part of life that we can't control. However, how we choose to deal with stress is up to us. We can only control what we can control. So just know that we all get it, we all go through it, and it's just part of living life. Just try your best to know that it does happen and it's OK, and things will work out in the end.