Stress can make you pull your hair out, but it can also teach you a few of life’s most important lessons. Sleepless nights, anxiety, and the inability to be a normal functioning adult are all negative side effects of stress, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have any purpose.
When you’re unable to go on with your daily routine, your loved ones will worry, your work can suffer, and more importantly, you could fall into a deep well of despair. However, it is also your chance to find your way out of said well, and also your chance to grow and evolve from whatever end-of-world situation you were in.
On the other hand, you may also realize that there’s nothing you can do about it, and that’s fine too, because no one is perfect and living with it is something people need to learn how to do as well.
You grow up much faster
Stress manifests itself in very different ways, but perhaps the most obvious of them all is that being stressed out keeps you on your feet. And it can help you learn the importance of staying on your toes, because it’s all a part of being in a world you can’t control. Of course, there are plenty of things you can control, but everything else requires experience. And dealing with stress successfully forces you to learn how to grow up as well.
That also means not panicking
When you grow up faster, you also learn to recognize your own signs of panic, anxiety, and fear. And while that sounds like a load of fluff, it can also be indicative of how well you deal with your emotions. When things go wrong, you go through all the above emotions, but the more experience you have in dealing with your own insecurities, the more experience you’ll have with getting yourself out of a panic.
Not panicking means more doing
That will lead to your ability to get more done despite your emotions, which is never a bad thing. Stress is a natural emotion, just like all the other negative effects of spiraling out of control, so the more you understand about them, then the more you can do to cope with them. Eventually, experience will turn coping into an effortless reaction, which means you’ll be able to power through these attacks with some good old fashioned “can do” attitude.
You’ll be able to use everything to your advantage
Then the next time you get hit with a case of the OMG’s, you’ll realize that some hard-nosed work and deep-digging into your own gut can pull you out of anything. So “powering through” will be much more than a physical effort (like in the gym), and it will turn into something you can do on command in your own head.
Stress will be another motivator
Like all the things that drive you, like family, loved ones, friends, enemies – stress will be just another reason to do your best, and try your hardest, and to not give up. But before this becomes a motivational poster at a kindergarten library event, you should remember that all of that only matters if you still fear the phobias that stress you out in the first place. You want to win for a multitude of reasons, but “not losing” is part of it. You want to succeed for your own reasons, but “not failing” is also a huge motivator. The same goes for “not stressing out.”
Experience is just as important
The opposite of not stressing out will mean something completely different for most people, but eventually that reaction will become so deeply ingrained that you can learn to recognize it, channel it, and then just ignore it. And that can only happen if you’re so familiar with stress that it because familiar and therefore a lot less scary. And that’s why experience with stress is just as important as anything else you’re stressed about.
Stress will be a reminder
Every time you get stressed out, and it won’t ever stop, you’ll be reminded of what you did the last time. Whether it’s for some small insignificant event, like forgetting where you put your keys, or something humongous, like where you left your passport before an international trip, you’ll remember that giving into the stress never helps. But using it to power through the tearing-up-of-your-house to find the missing item while not pulling your hair out, is exactly why those past experiences are important.
Eventually, it gets better
Like building up an immunity to the common cold, or the flu, or someone’s nagging voice inside your ear – you need to experience the full spectrum of going crazy in order to learn how to better deal with it.