UNITED STATES─If there is one thing most Americans have in common even if they don’t realize it: its stress. Yes, it’s a six-letter word, one that forces so many of us to want to tear out our hair, while others find ways to cope with it. What exactly does that mean? It means we all encounter stress, but everyone deals with stress in different ways. Some of us avoid the issue completely, some of us do things to alleviate the stress that we’re encountering, but no matter what we do, we ultimately have to address the issue. That is the thing about stress: you cannot hide from it.

I for one encounter a ton of stress at my various jobs, and it places me in a situation, where I have to find balance between work, my family life and my personal life. A vast majority of Americans encounter stress in the workplace, and it might be the most difficult thing to grapple with. Thinking about how to handle a situation, when you should handle the situation and taking the approach that will best lead to a resolution and best outcome for all parties involved.

Stress can lead to all types of health ailments rather its high-blood pressure, a heart attack, an aneurysm, headaches and so much more. Stress does impact some people more than others, rather its age, race, socioeconomic status, religion, sex, family, gender or environment influences. If you live in a lower class neighborhood, you could worry about walking out your house and worrying about the air you breathe, crime which could be a factor that some people do and don’t encounter.

If you come from an affluent area, issues of pollution and crime may not be factors that contribute to your stress. When it comes to age, I’m a believer that anyone can encounter stress no matter what the age; well let me take that back because a newborn or infant might not encounter stress directly, but stress from their parents the child will indeed absorb.

With family, you have to navigate someone else’s problems with your problems and taking on something that perhaps you don’t want to deal with. It’s like having cake with icing, on top of more icing. It’s a bit more than you’d like to handle. Race is a big one for so many who have to put on a ‘show’ depending on the situation and the participants involved. Not being able to be your authentic-self based on one’s race, sex, gender or religion, can create a ton of stress for many Americans. Money creates a ton of stress for Americans, those who have it encounter plenty of stress, while those who don’t have it, have plenty of stress about how to get more of it and how to navigate around it.

With money comes work, so what does that mean for stress? So many people tend to get stuck in this bubble where we stay at a job we absolutely hate because we’re unable to find something better or we like the money we make at our current place of employment, but not to the point where we’re willing to let it go. You’re forced to weigh your options and it’s not always easy. You deal with that job because its only 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and once the day is over you can leave all those stressors from work alone.

However, if you are in a position of power, let’s say management, that stress tends to follow you home and that is quite frustrating to say the least. You cannot leave your work, it follows you, you have to check emails, you have to answer calls, you get text messages, it can be never ending, and when you think it has ended, it just keeps going. The notion of having any sleep, it’s disrupted when you least expect and that adds to stress.

Can one completely eliminate stress from their life? No, no matter what you do you cannot completely eliminate the realm of stress. Its apart of our daily lives no matter what you do. There are definitely ways to manage it, but it all boils down to how you navigate that stress in your life. Rather its exercise, writing, music, drawing, sewing, cooking, watching movies, there is always a way to decompress. Find the thing that makes you calm, brings you an inner peace and use it as a tool to battle the stress your encounter.

Written By Zoe Mitchell