Be The Solution
Stress management is something I never knew was so huge. I was always the one to try
and overcome stress by just giving it time or listen to music. SWU 349 has showed me that
there are many ways to overcome certain situations. In this essay, I will be talking about five
topics that I’ve learned in this Stress Management class that I’ve applied to my everyday living.
This includes, healthy eating, making rational decisions when stressed, strengthening my
intuition, overcoming laziness, and also being happy by strengthening my relationships with
There are a lot of times where I have a hard time eating right. For example, when I work
in the morning to the afternoon, I don’t wake up early enough to eat a meal before I go to
work, so I only eat one meal that day, which is when I get off. Because of this, I tend to also go
to bed a lot earlier than I usually do due to the lack of energy I have. It is also a lot harder for
me work and serve tables when this happens because it’s a lot of movement and it get burnt
out faster than I should have. “In adults, not eating breakfast regularly has been associated with
increased risks of obesity and possibly type 2 diabetes” (Donin, p. A38). After learning about
this, I try to wake up earlier than usual, give myself to get ready, and then go grab coffee and a
breakfast sandwich. This really helps me get through the day because I feel great and I also
perform so much better than I have been before. Not only am I happy, but customers also seem
to be happy just from how well I am serving. Another example is that I eat a lot of frozen foods
when I’m at home because it’s cheap and their easy to prepare. Chapter 4 explains how even
though processed foods make us full, it has a huge negative effect on our bodies such as gaining
weight and it gives us a poor amount of nutrients we need to function. “It is harder for our
bodies to digest, absorb, and eliminate them than the nutritional value they offer our bodies in
return. This poor exchange of calories for nutritional value is like a bad investment offering
limited return. This leaves our bodies feeling sluggish and deprived (Napoli, p. 63). I try to do
my best to go grocery shopping and eat a lot more vegetables than I would have before. Not
only they are cheap, but they also give me great nutrients and vitamins to help keep my body
strong. I’ve been eating a lot less microwavable food and I actually started losing weight!
One of the most important concepts I have learned while reading Chapter 2 is how the
brain processes how we are feeling mentally and physically when feeling threatened. When our
brainstem and limbic system is activated for a long time, our brain will start to develop stress.
By using the cortex, we will try to calm down and figure out what to do, but it may always not
work. This chapter also explains how at some moments even if we try to calm down, it doesn’t
work and we start to make irrational decisions. This kind of information helps me understand
why I behave the way I do in certain situations (Napoli, 2014). Recently my boyfriend and I got
into a really big argument and knowing the person that I am, I like to talk things out when we
both aren’t upset because we may say or do things we don’t mean. Unfortunately, my
boyfriend is the complete opposite and he likes to resolve things then and there even though
we both are not in the right state of mind to do so. I got so fed up with the conversation we
were having, I left the house and ended up sleeping at my friend’s house. Even though it
seemed like a good decision at the time, it still wasn’t the best way we could have figured
things out within that moment. After learning about how our brain reacts to these type of
situations, my boyfriend and I decided that if we ever get into arguments, we will just cool off in
separate rooms for about 20 minutes and then come to each other and talk about the situation.
This helps prevent us from getting stressed out and making irrational decisions that we will
regret later on.
By using our intuition, we are able to make decisions or judgements basing it off of on
our cognitive mind and by also accessing information in our unconscious minds related to past
experiences or patterns that we recognize (Napoli, 2014). “Strategic and tactical choices can’t
always wait, so effective leaders learn to depend on their intuition as well as the evidence of
the moment to reach decisions quickly with minimal information” (Cartwright, p. 7). It is
important to strengthen our intuition in order to make the best decisions we are able to make.
After learning about this, I thought that it was important to use critical thinking and past
memories to be able to make decisions for myself while also strengthening my intuition. For
example, there was a situation where I had an opportunity to by a new game that I’ve been
wanting. I was really excited to purchase it, but then I realized that if I bought it, I knew I was
going to spend a lot of my time playing it instead of studying for finals. I decided to buy it for
myself after finals week, so I didn’t have to stress about anything and I could fully enjoy the
game. Because of my intuition, I knew the consequences of what was going to happen due to
past experiences of me buying new games before.
One challenge I have with myself in order to maintain a mindful mind is my laziness.
“When in this state of mind, individuals retreat from the present moment into their fantasy
world where they seek gratification through imagination” (Napoli, p. 141) During this semester,
I took eight classes, while also working a part-time job around 20-30 hours a week. On
weekends, I would go out with my friends and drink on Mill Ave. because we all just recently
turned 21. Whenever I had free time, I would just lay in bed and I would all day if I was able to. I
noticed that my laziness definitely had a negative effect on my life because I would always
study and do homework the day it was due. This would cause me to stress out more than I
should have. I also have gained a couple pounds from doing nothing and only eating. This has
lowered my self-confidence by a lot and would also give me a reason to not go out in my free
time. I also noticed that I would make a lot of excuses to not do things I would need to do.
Laziness has other negative effects on us that we don’t even think about. For example, if we
tend to be lazy, we miss on many opportunities that life offers us every day due to the mindset
we are in. Laziness can also affect the performance of our work such as not being able to
perform our best to just not working at all (Puddifoot, 2014). In order to overcome laziness, I
decided to go out less and replace that with just hanging out with my friends and doing
homework together. I also decided to wake up by 10am every day, so that I am able to make a
routine for myself and not let myself lay in bed all day.
The last and final thing that I decided to improve on for myself is to strengthen healthy
relationships. Chapter 8 really focuses on how happiness is tied to relationships we have with
others. “Sharing with others, feelings, activities, and offering support, determine the quality of
happy relationships” (Napoli, p. 160). I’ve always been the person that appreciates the
relationships I have with others since I’m not very close to much people. I love my parents a lot,
but I barely talk to them since all have busy schedules. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to see
them for Christmas in Hawai’i because plane tickets are so expensive around that time, so I
decided to spend it with my boyfriend in Los Angeles. In order to make up for lost time with my
family, I bought a plane ticket later in January. Even though they will be working, I’d still be
happy to see them at home and join them for dinner.
Cartwright, T. (2007). Developing your intuition : A guide to reflective practice. Retrieved from
Donin, A., Nightingale, C., Owen, C., Rudnicka, A., Stephen, A., Cook, D., & Whincup, P. (2013).
OP81 Not Eating Breakfast is Associated with increased Type 2 Diabetes Risk Markers in
a Multiethnic Population of Children: The Child Heart and Health Study in England
(CHASE). Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 67(Suppl 1), A38.2-A38.
Napoli, M. (2014).Beyond Stress: Strategies for Blissful Living. [VitalSource Bookshelf]. Retrieved
Puddifoot, K. (2014). A defence of epistemic responsibility: Why laziness and ignorance are bad
after all. Synthese, 191(14), 3297-3309.