Writer: Karen W.
Editor: Aika M.
Translator: Trang D.
Hello everyone. How did you spend winter vacation? I’m on winter break for the first time in my university life, which lasts for three months, and I’ve been spending most of my time working part-time to save money for studying abroad. Recently, at my part-time job, I am getting in a lot of trouble due to my unprofessional attitudes towards customers and some other small mistakes in my work. If I continue to contain these frustrating emotions for too long, I’m afraid I’ll explode one day. I think it is normal for anyone to feel tired and bewildered like I do now, every now and again in their student life and daily life. So, it goes without saying, the important thing is to alleviate those negative feelings. To help you with that, this article will tell you some stress reduction methods.
What is stress?
To begin with, stress is a state of tension caused by external stimuli. External stimuli include environmental factors such as weather and noise, physical factors such as illness or lack of sleep, psychological factors like anxiety and worries, and social factors like poor relationships and busy work.
It is very important to detect your stress signs. When you are stressed, you may have some stress signs such as sleeping difficulty, stomachache, short temper, etc. If you are stressed, you may not even be able to sleep. These signs do not necessarily mean that you have any mental illness, but if you continue to be stressed out without realizing it or taking any action, you may end up in a worse mental condition.
First, it is a must to know your stress signs, and then monitor yourself from time to time to see if you are showing any of those signs. The sooner you become aware of your own stress, the sooner you can take care of yourself by taking a break or try changing your mood with different activities
(Taken from: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/koI o/first/first02_1.html)
Sadly, most of the time, I tend to miss my own stress signs and break down easily afterwards. So make sure we don’t overlook those stress signs, take the proper steps, and stop stressing ourselves out! In the next part, I will share with you how different people deal with stress, so let’s explore what methods they have been using!
Recommended stress relief methods
We conducted a survey of TIU students to find out what stress management tips or advice they have. I am sure that all of our readers will find these methods useful and easy to try. Please check out and give us your thoughts!
Case 1 – Crying
Crying out loud to relieve stress is a very effective way to reset your mind. Some people usually talk to someone about their feelings and start shedding tears after they have shared all of the accumulated negative feelings. This will help you sort out your feelings and sometimes you can get opinions from other people, with different viewpoints and angles you never expected you could get.
Others say that they induce tears by watching or reading something that moves them to tears. Some recommendations from my interviewee are ONE PIECE 冬島編、サヨナラメリー号編、マリンフォード頂上戦争編 (English name is not available). My top recommendation is a work called Anohana – The flower we saw that day.
Case 2 – Eating
When I got this answer, I thought, “I just need to eat a good meal then that’s fine?”. However, several people said that spending time having meals with good friends and loved ones is actually more important than having just a good meal. Also, some people feel refreshed when they can keep eating and drinking until they want to stop. I often eat as much as I want, and this time I feel better because I am taking better care of myself.
Case 3 – Enjoying entertainment
It is definitely a good idea to immerse yourself in your hobbies/ interests and “your talents” and just enjoy them. Listening to music, playing instruments such as piano or guitar, watching movies, cartoons or YouTube, reading manga or books, or playing games are all recommended. Not only is it important to spend time alone enjoying your hobbies, but it is also great if you could share your hobbies with someone else to double the fun. Additionally, some people choose to overcome their boredom by taking a bath, singing karaoke, or even surfing.
Case 4 – Spending time with a good friend.
When I heard about this method, I was surprised because I am the type of person who is always trying to cope with my stress by myself. However, when I listened to the stories from other extroverts that spend a lot of time working on their network, I realized that this is such good advice. They said that when they want to relieve stress, just being with good friends (friends or lovers) can reduce their stress and bring them more joy and motivation. Most of the respondents answered that regardless of what activities they do, as long as they can share time with their good friends then it is totally fine. And it dawned on me how important it is to interact with other people, rather than just enduring alone.
Case 5 – Exercise
People who exercise to relieve stress say that they tend to get carried away with working out, so they don’t need to think too much and forget about anything that bothers them. I also tried jogging to relieve stress a few times, and it did help me clear my head and feel way better.
Case 6 – Making time for yourself
On the other hand, when you are stressed about interpersonal relationships, it is better to be alone, and try the stress-reducing techniques introduced above. In addition, spending time in a place where you are close to nature (park, mountain, forest, ocean, river, etc.) is recommended, as it will make you feel refreshed. Besides, if you make time for self-reflection, you will be able to accept your feelings more honestly than before, and you will become more motivated to work harder.
Whether these methods are effective or not may vary from person to person and may not work for everyone, so you should be very careful in choosing which methods to try out. We really appreciate your understanding.
3. Before you get stressed out
Lastly, how to avoid stress? I have introduced some ways to relieve stress, but I have learned that it is important to be aware of your own stress signs and take care of your body and mind on a regular basis. When you feel stressed out, you may find that the effectiveness of the stress management practices you do depends on how you choose to face the problems. In fact, there is a theory that if you think that stress is bad for you, it will have a negative effect on your health, but on the other hand, if you think that you are just drained out and need more time to take care of yourself, there is almost no problem. In other words, stress can become heavier or lighter depending on how you perceive it and how you think about it. Therefore, when you feel stressed, it is a good time to reevaluate your lifestyle and mindset. We hope that after reading this article, you will have a better idea ofhow to deal with stress and make life more enjoyable.