Stressed? Me? Never….

Let’s admit it, you’re stressed, I’m stressed, and everyone else reading this post is most likely stressed as well. Whether it be because you just started your five-page paper that’s due at midnight (cough, cough) or simply because you can’t decide what outfit you’re going to wear tomorrow morning. The beauty of stress is that it can apply to anyone at any given time, however, the downside is that we often don’t know how to deal with it and eventually break down (it’s okay I too have just recovered from such tragedy). 

Everyone reacts to situations differently. What may seem like a big deal to you may not raise a hair on the person next to you. However, how you successfully deal with your stressors should be determined by what Alice Boyes refers to as your own cognitive style.  We all are different. We have different ways of retaining information and further processing that information to make our own decisions. Which means that we have to create strategies that work for our own self when it comes to dealing with our stress.

One of the many reasons why we tend to stress is because of how much attention we give to a particular situation. Research shows that how much attention we have is limited, creating this notion that beyond a certain point we are unable to process what is going around us and how effectively we are able to make decisions. In the article, Boyes states that it is important to create strategies that will help find a balance between how much attention we give to a stressful situation in order to avoid overthinking.  


How do you deal with your stress? Is by eating an entire tub of your favorite ice-cream (I am guilty of this), do you address the situation with positive energy, or do you completely avoid the situation until it “goes away.” Our personality definitely plays a role in which direction we chose to deal with our situation. As mentioned in Boyde’s article, those who tend to feel more hopeless should try to face the situation with a more defensive pessimistic view. Meaning that if you set low standards from the gecko and envision all the possible negative outcomes that could occur, you would be more likely to take action in trying to avoid that from happening in the first place. Resulting in less stress in the long run.

If you are the complete end of the spectrum and are someone who is optimistic about every situation you have a better chance of having to deal with your stress in a positive manner. However, one does have to realize that regardless of your subjective feeling it won’t necessarily change the reality of the situation but will help in terms of emotional well-being. 

Reading this article I did find myself agreeing with a lot of what Boyes had to say in terms of how everyone has their own cognitive style in dealing with certain issues. Although I do think she could have incorporated more ideas into it in regards to other factors and solutions that one could engage in to control our stressors.

Sources/links used:

Robinson-Riegler & Robinson-Riegler, Cognitive Psychology: Applying the Science of the Mind. Pearson, 2017. ISBN 9780134003405

11 thoughts on “Stressed? Me? Never….

  1. dnicole

    I can absolutely agree to this. Stress is certainly something that everyone cannot escape. Stress can come in different shape or form. You may stress because you’re taking an important exam that may change your life course or you may stress because you can’t decide to choose chocolate or strawberry. If you’re an optimistic person it does help that your positivity may help you cope with stress but in reality it would be a temporary thing. The stressful situtation will remain there, whether you’re an optimistic person or pessimistic.

  2. jward

    I totally agree with this! Stress is something that every person will encounter, even the richest person! Stress is very subjective- its different for each person. Though it’s different for each person, many time stress comes from the same roots. Work environments, finances, relationships, all of these contribute to the stress of our everyday lives. We also cope with stress very differently. Some people may choose to smoke. Others may choose to eat. A lot of times, I prefer to sleep on it and wake up the next day able to conquer what I can (it just depends on how stressed I am). How people manage there stress is important because the less you deal with it the more issues you’ll have, putting even more stress on you. You must gain control to successful manage your stress. This was very interesting!

  3. haeason

    I have never thought about this before but it definitely makes sense for us to combat stress in different ways based on how we think. When you are developing healthy coping mechanisms to fight stress, it is important to also develops solutions to solve why you are stressing out. the stress will just keep coming if you don’t deal with the stressor. Positive thinking is good and all, the good end of the self-fulfilling prophecy, but for some people its difficult. Though, when you are pessimistic, you expect bad things to happen and they do, it isn’t as bad as when you think positively and expect good things to happen and they don’t.

  4. dzuleta

    Is it possible a blog post about stress just gave me more stress? Absolutely because I think myself and clearly many other students fall into several of these categories about how we deal with it and who is more prone to it. Personally, I find myself at both ends of the spectrum where I could be completely pessimistic about the outcome of an assignment and at times my ego can be so high that I finish an assignment so quickly. I find there to be a couple of problems with this dilemma. The person who is pessimistic and anticipating every terrible outcome experiences an overwhelming amount of stress but is more likely to accomplish an assignment with a good grade by taking careful measures. The person who is optimistic and finishes their assignment with the belief that they knew how to finish it without any other measures to look into might be less stressed out but also be left with the grade they were not expecting purely because they thought it was easier than it was. The first person will only end up back in the vicious cycle of stressing to get a good grade and the second will likely fall into the cycle of stressing as well. This of course is not set in stone for each individual. When applying it to myself, I do find it hard to see real solutions to this issue. Perhaps another factor to this is pressure, whether it be from school or work responsibilities.

  5. ewooten

    I think that it makes a lot of sense that stress is tied to attention. Oftentimes when I myself am stressed, I find myself having attention in one of two extremes: either I hyper-focus on the task at hand until completion, after which I worry about it, or I avoid the task and focus on other things, like cleaning my workspace or doing literally anything else to avoid the task. While that’s how I am affected by stress, not everyone will react that way. The idea of cognitive style is new to me as a concept but unsurprising, as everyone is wired differently and will handle things in a different manner. I also think that it makes sense that a person’s outlook on life will greatly affect how they deal with stress. I agree with the poster of this blog post that I would’ve liked to hear more about factors in what leads to how you deal with stress and how to solve those problems.

  6. dnewman

    This definitely would get a lot of support from college students. I’m sure if you walked into a college classroom asking each student how they manage their stress before an exam… everyone’s answers would differ. I know for sure some students couldn’t care less about an exam day, but others feel terrified coming to class. The weight put on one situation is likely the biggest part of our stress level. It’s a really interesting topic to look into because there is no common level of stress. What one person would consider high stress someone could brush off. It’s all in perception.

    1. kaylaf

      When you get so stressed that your stress starts stressing you out to the point where you’re too stressed to deal with your stress >>

      Stress is something that everybody encounters and everybody deals with differently. It definitely depends on what’s causing the stress but another point to make is time (aka, how much time do you have to stress about the thing you’re stressed about before you need to deal with it). I think time can have a huge effect on how we manage our stress. If we’re stressed about a test is it a week away or is it in 3 hours? I totally agree that there’s no common level of stress and it would be super interesting to look into how time constraints can make our responses different.

    2. Mala Post author

      I totally agree. I never realized how my stress levels would change when I started college. Maybe it’s because I generally just want to do very well, therefore, before any exam I get very anxious and stressed. Which in the long run most likely makes me do even worse because I’m not paying attention to the information I need to be, rather on how stressed I am making me even more stressed.

  7. Emily Beitzell

    Stress is a very subjective experience. Sometimes I get so stressed I don’t actually recognize it as stress and start getting physical symptoms from it. The way I handle stressful situation varies based on the situation or even what kind of mood I’m in. I agree with the point that how we handle stress has to do with our personality, but I also think our personal experiences shape it as well. Eventually we figure out what works best to resolve our stress.

  8. mbright

    I can definitely relate to this post. I feel like I’m stressed all the time and I don’t really have a coping mechanism for it. I tend to have a negative mindset about it. But at the same time I do think of the positive outcomes and the negative ones. And I often times think the negative ones are more realistic and I don’t want to get my hopes up thinking about the positive outcomes if it doesn’t happen. But whether my thoughts be negative or positive I don’t let it stop me or bring me down so I guess that’s kind of an upside.

  9. jadeturner

    Would it be a semester in college without the beauty of stress? It interesting to think about how some people handle stress and pressure. Some people can take the heat and they do not break under pressure. However the rest of us, find ways that makes the stress go away. Admittedly I am an advocator of shopping while stressed. Probably not the smartest idea when you are the holder of a credit card but that’s future me’s problem. Anyways, to think there is a term for things we just naturally do is wild to me.
    Believe it or not, stress can be beneficial for you for a short period. Since it helps you cope with serious situations, as long as it is not long term, you will not face serious damages.
    Here is an article that goes into the symptoms and what processes in the body it affects.

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