How to Handle Stress and Not Kill People.

After living the kind of life I’ve had, one thing I’ve learned is how to handle stress! People would always commend me on my ability to smile, laugh, and function in stressful situations.

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

Fun fact — Someone attempted to rob me and I acted like the robber and I was having a normal conversation. He even asked me out after. Had to turn him down, of course, for obvious reasons. Meanwhile, my family was running hysterics in the background for days after the incident while I had just moved on.

This wasn’t the only incident where I displayed my mastery of stoicism. Many times throughout my life I would just be calm while the world fell apart.


To get to that level of “UNAGI” or resilience to chaos, was not easy. And one thing I will tell you, despite what some may boast and say that they were “born with it”, I can tell you that is a lie! Sadly, to build that kind of resilience, you must be able to take some hits and most likely you started taking it when you were a child. So now what some may now view as natural is actually conditioning that took place over time.

A simple internet search revealed several studies on resilience and child maltreatment, some seek to build resilience after the abuse, some measure the effects of abuse on resilience, and some seek to find how resilience can be built in a normal family structure. But what they all agree on is that resilience teaching should start in childhood and while that’s wise as an adult it’s kinda unfair.

So, instead of you going through what I and many others suffered in order to build that resilience, I’m going to share a few tips that may be scientifically proven down the road or probably already have scientific terms for it. Either way, this is what I do to survive years of my own personal hell, not kill myself or turn into Jeffery Dahmer.

It is not foolproof and some days you may not remember or can do these tips, but once you do your best to turn them into daily habits, they can improve your sanity, productivity and actually have you looking forward to another day.

  1. Get Deaf. I don’t mean to harm yourself, I mean to block out all the noise that has nothing to do with you becoming your best self. You can use headsets and listen to music, or read or engage in any activity that draws you in. The goal is to keep you from listening to the negativity and reducing your chances of responding.
  2. Find Your Oasis. In some cases, like me, you may not be able to create a physical space. In that case, you get imaginative. Start envisioning yourself elsewhere. The best thing to do is to start dreaming of your future and let that draw your attention.
  3. Pray, Meditate, Breathe. Whether you are religious or not, the point of all three is to slow you down and get you thinking, not reacting. Prayer relieves me of the stress of solely relying on myself, meditation strengthens my connection to myself and God, and breathing stops sudden impulses. Ironically, once I pray and meditate, I find I don’t get triggered easily.
  4. Exercise. You create happy endorphins and it’s better than becoming a chocoholic, alcoholic, or just plain addict. My go-to is Yoga because of its meditative qualities but a simple walk can do wonders as well.
  5. Create a Positive Self-Image. Pay attention to your body. Are you slouching, dressing poorly or mumbling, or have unhealthy habits? Now is the time to get rid of those! Coupled with exercise and meditation, this is a great way to build a barrier of self-assurance around yourself.
  6. Learn to Deflect. Don’t be a sponge! Stop believing what anyone says about you even if it’s true! Yes, that’s what I said! Because most likely they are still talking about a person that doesn’t exist anymore. Don’t accept what your negative mind and others are saying! Deflect it with a simple statement — That is not me!
  7. Be Proactive, Not Reactive. Take control of your destiny. Start working on that dream your mind created to cope. Start learning. Focus on solving your problems. Stop saying it can’t be done! Seek solutions and celebrate each step.
  8. Embrace The Tears. It may seem odd to end with this, but crying relieves tension allowing you to move on faster. Don’t be a hero and keep your emotions bottled too tight. Throw in a good scream and tantrum too. Let all that pain go.

Even if you don’t have chronic stressors like I do and just have the sudden acute stress of having a bad day, these tips are great to handle any situation. If you do suffer from chronic stress you should rethink your lifestyle, the people around you, and your future.

However, no matter what type of stress you have, you should seek professional advice to ensure it’s not a life-threatening issue. Remember, too much stress can kill, if not you then …



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MB Haven

MB Haven


In 2016, I decided to turn my life around. So while I was pursuing my BSc, I started searching for jobs in my new field of Marketing and discovered a lifestyle!