ARE you experiencing hardships? Is something bothering you? Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to a positive or negative situation in your life, such as a new job or the death of a loved one.

Stress itself isn't abnormal or bad. What's important is how you deal with stress (

Stress is normal in our lives. Many of us, if not all, have problems, issues, and concerns.

There are two types of stress:

• Distress - the bad kind of stress evoked by negative feelings

• Eustress - The good and useful kind of stress evoked by positive events

How stressed out are you? Mihir Patkar wrote an article in 2017 on ways on how you can check your stress level. One of the ways he shared is a flowchart by Pound Place to identify your stress level. Here are the four levels with their descriptions:

1. Calm

Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it – though you might feel pressure upon from time to time. It seems as though you’re able to cope with the stress.

However, it never hurts to make de-stressing an active part of your daily routine e.g. meditation sessions or exercises

2. A little stressed

At face value, you’re quite calm and level-headed, but when stress starts to build you often find yourself struggling or procrastinating

Pay attention to how you speak to yourself when stressed, and think positively – say “I will,” rather than “I can’t.”

3. Stressed

It sounds as though you’re feeling stressed out by one issue or another

The first step is to talk to someone about your problems whether that’s friends or family and not being ashamed or embarrassed about feeling overwhelmed.

4. Very stressed

You’re feeling tremendously stressed, and it might be having a detrimental effect on almost every aspect of your interpersonal relationships.

Seeking professional help, such as psychotherapy or CBT, will help identify and hopefully resolve the source of the problem

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You know yourself best. It is good to identify your stressors and find means in dealing with pressures in life. Here are some tips on how to cope with our worries. Be hassle free.

B – Be resilient and be kind

E – Encourage others

H – Have a positive attitude

A – Accept things you cannot change (there are things beyond our control)

S – Share your blessings

S – Sleep at least eight hours a day

L – Love yourself more

E –Express your thoughts and feelings

F – Find time to bond with loved ones

R – Rest, relax and pray

E – Exercise regularly and have a healthy lifestyle

E – Enjoy life, have fun

Each person is unique. We each have our ways of dealing with all these issues in life. There are many other things we can do to make ourselves happy.

If you feel that you are overwhelmed and have a hard time coping, please seek professional help.

Help is here.

It is available. Visit your guidance counselor, talk to your priest or pastor, share your feelings with loved ones or consult with a doctor.