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Does anyone else have a fear of stress, and how do you combat it?
I am increasingly aware that I have developed a fear of stress. Throughout high school I battled a disease whose severity had a clear connection to my stress levels – I always got sick when I was overly stressed. Throughout most of high school, I also (stupidly) took the hardest classes available to me due to my rather rabid and irrational ambition. After going through a very severe bout of illness my junior year I finally decided to lay off on the obsessive achieving and I took easier classes my senior year, and I discovered that cutting myself some slack was quite enjoyable.
Now I’ve had surgery to correct my disease but there is still a strong connection in my mind between stress and dire consequences. I’m quite in the habit of believing that I must avoid stress at all costs. Not only that, but I finally discovered that even if I were a physically normal person, I really do not like the mental side of being stressed either; I so enjoyed getting to relax a bit during my senior year. I am aware that I used my illness as a crutch at times; I knew I needed to avoid stress for my physical health, and I secretly was glad I had that excuse because it was good for my mental health, too.
In January I’m going to college, and even though I never want to go back to being as intense as I used to be, I know that college is an innately stressful environment. And I want to have the full college experience, too, I want to join clubs and do extracurriculars while keeping my grades up; I don’t want to half-ass it. I find the prospect of such a fast-paced, high-energy future both envigorating and very frightening.
Have you ever dealt with a fear of stress? What was your experience like? How have you combated it? Even if you don’t have personal experience with this, do you have any advice to offer to me? I am getting therapy.