This I Believe

Phillip - Romeoville, Illinois
Entered on May 7, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Stress: Our Biggest Problem

I believe that there is too much stress in the world. We are always stressing about how we look or how we perform compared to others. From my experiences, I’ve learned that too much stress can be bad for both the mind and body. Having too much stress causes us to make wrong decisions and act irritable towards others. I believe that sometimes in life we all need to take a step back and not let everything get to us. Who cares how we look or what others think about us? What matters is how we feel about ourselves and if we are constantly stressing about what others may think, we can’t act good for ourselves.

There was a time in my life where I was always too stressed about what I was doing. Whether it was school work or everyday activities, I always took it too seriously which caused me to stress over anything that was wrong. I would make sure that I looked good to others by making sure my grades were up, my clothes were nice, and that my hair was done perfectly. I would always want to be in the loop, never wanting to be left out on what happened in last week’s “Survivor” or “Amazing Race.” Whenever I would watch my favorite show or listen to my favorite music, I would never want to be interrupted. If I was interrupted I would miss a part of the movie or song that I was paying attention to, and therefore would miss out on the next day’s “Did you see when…” or “Did you see how…” I wanted to be accepted socially, and would stress over missing anything that could hinder my acceptance.

Wanting to be part of the group I would lash out at anyone who “got in the way.” Whenever I was interrupted while watching a show or listening to music, I would tell them off and act like a complete jerk. If my hair wasn’t right, I would take extra time to fix it, making others wait. This would all change when my mother spoke up to me. I was treating her horribly; it was almost as if she was one of my buddies, and not my mother. Her words of how ungrateful and insensitive I had been cut through me like glass. After the initial shock of hearing how horrible I had been acting, I began to take steps to prevent it happening again. I realized that missing a show was not the end of the world, it could actually be quite the opposite allowing me to start up a conversation to find out what had happened rather than adding to what was already known. I began to take everyday activities such as playing sports or playing on the computer with more of a “fun” approach. It was not only fun for me but great for my friends and family that were involved as well. If a rule was broken, or a team lost I don’t stress over who had done it or why, I hold my head high and congratulate the other team.

I’ve learned that too much stress can ultimately affect my life and cause me to act in ways I wouldn’t normally. Stress has many ways of influencing our everyday choices; it can both be good and bad. However, in most cases too much stress can lead to wrongful actions that wouldn’t have been taken normally. I know now that taking life too seriously at times can ruin the time we have to spend living. I thank my mother for having the courage to speak up to me; I know that she has forever changed my life making it much more enjoyable and stress-free.