Learning How to Deal with Stress

At some point in our lives, we have had to deal with a stressful situation. Stress can be the most overwhelming feeling. You may be anxious, start overthinking and be more irritable than your normal self. Stress does not always let you know when it comes around. You can be on top of the world and then your world gets turned upside down. I have been very fortunate over the years when it comes to stress and stressful situations. I have been told by others I handle stress extremely well. The truth is, I had to train myself to handle stress well.

When I was younger, my parents always had me go to a therapist once a week. This helped manage any thoughts, challenges and fears from my disability and how to address these issues before they became an even bigger issue. When you are younger, you look at things completely differently. I remember being in my early teens when someone told me that one day I would understand. I always laughed or said, “yeah right!”

Now, I understand the bigger picture. My therapist always said to me: “Just when the caterpillar thought it was all over, it turned into a butterfly.” This saying impacted me in a huge way. I fell in love with the quote. I even have the quote framed and hanging in my office. Everyone in life experiences stress in some form. This may be from your job or your financial situation. You may be going through a breakup or a divorce. We all handle stress differently. These are just some scenarios that are stressful. When you throw a disability into the situation, the stress can be extremely overwhelming.

Recently, I was talking to one of my friends who is a nurse at a hospital. She had a patient come in and pass away. She told me that she sees people pass away every day and the hospital just wheels them down the hall because they have to make room for the ER patients. I felt really bad for her. She told me her job was making her feel emotionless and drained. She just wants to quit. The challenge she faces is not an easy task. I told her the job she had is not an easy job and she has to do things outside of work to alleviate the feelings and stress she has. I know this is easier said than done.

After our conversation, I needed to blow off some steam because she had stressed me out with her stress. So, I ended up going outside. I put some music on and I laid out in the sun. I turned my phone off and escaped for a bit. There were a bunch of other things I could have done to blow off steam but I felt like I had to disconnect for a bit before I started to get really stressed. The beauty of this was that I identified that the stressful feelings were coming BEFORE I became stressed.

Sometimes this happens when I’m having a bad day physically and when I wake up my body and muscles have different plans. I always make sure I remember that saying: “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” Tomorrow is another day. If I can make it thought the struggles that I’m going through right now, tomorrow will be better.

About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click here to learn more about Josh.