Why we make stress into a competition

Why Do We Make Stress and Anxiety A Competitive Thing?

"Oh you think you're stressed? Well I have 100 page paper due tomorrow, a test tomorrow, oh and I have to go save some puppies on the moon."

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I'm sure that we all have experienced this. You've expressed to a friend or maybe even a parent abut how stressed out you are over something and instead of offering up support they throw the old "oh you think you're stressed? Well I have 100 page paper due tomorrow, a test tomorrow, oh and I have to go save some puppies on the moon."

Why do people respond with this? Why does everything have to be a competition?

Everything from how crappy our lives are to how amazing we make them look on social media is all just one big completion.

The thing is though, that even if you are more stressed than your friend, what do you win? You have more stress, congratulations?

I think that as humans we all can be a little selfish sometimes and that this response is a reflection of that. Sometimes we have to think about ourselves first, which is totally valid, but we all need to work on not making things like stress a competition.

A better response could be "oh that sucks, but at least you seem prepared and I am here for you if you need! I totally understand what you're going through though; I have a lot of work to do too. Maybe we can do it together?"

This response is so much more supportive but it also allows us to get our stress out as well.

We should be banding together when we are stressed or even depressed, not playing the game of whose life sucks more.

Plus this good friendship will most likely be returned to you. The next time they see you struggling with something, they may reach out to you and try and help you out.

It also is important to not belittle someone's anxiety or stress.

If someone tells you that they are anxious about something that may not seem like a big deal to you, then you still need to be supportive because anxiety is different for everyone.

Making them feel that their anxiety is 'dumb' or 'invalid' is sure just to make them feel even more anxious and it will probably hurt them.

Instead a better alternative is to offer up encouragement and try and help them reduce their anxiety over whatever the issue is.

Overall, it is important that when it come to mental health that we all support one another and treat others how you would want to be treated in their scenario.

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Working On My Emotional Health Is At The Top Of My To-Do List

I'm finally realizing the importance of my mental and emotional health.

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The month of April has been so eye-opening for me. For the first bit of the year, I felt like I was in a slump; like I was just going through the motions and not fully living my life.

I was letting boy drama, school stress, and my poor actions to deal with those issues take over my life. I was allowing the anger and shame from those mistakes bubble up inside me until I was just about ready to explode.

I was allowing myself to go back to old ways of coping with problems that I knew weren't healthy, but I knew would be a short-term fix.

I simply wasn't living.

Then, one day I woke up and told myself I needed to change, and that if I didn't, I'd be on this same path ten years from now... or worse. I told myself I needed to get my life back on track with the Lord and with who I want to be as a rising senior in college.

After meeting with one of the leaders at my church (btw, everyone needs a Mrs. Jenny in their life!) and with my therapist, I'm starting to realize how important my emotional health is. My way of dealing with problems hasn't been working all that well, so I know it's time to try something else.

It's all going to be a huge learning process (and at times, an uphill battle), but I know working on my emotional health now will build me to be the best I can in the future.

By learning to become more open to healthier ways of dealing with issues as they come up (like not avoiding problems and actually facing them head-on), I know I can become my best self, and that is something I'm willing to work on with my whole heart.

So, I'm learning to let go of needing to control everything in my life because honestly, wanting to control everything puts me more out of control than when I first started.

And, I encourage you to do the same.

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