UNITED STATES—We live in a world where at times it can feel like we’re juggling just way too much. Now, there is a big difference between stress and pressure. Whereas, I’d consider pressure, just dealing with a ton of stuff or taking on too much, stress is figuring out a way to manage a load of things that are part of our everyday lives.

Stress invades are lives each morning. Having to choose rather to get out of bed, to eat breakfast, to exercise, to go to work, the list goes on and on. Pressure is something that many of us seem to take on without even considering it. Right now I feel as if I have loads of pressure on my shoulders and it hit me like a box of bricks the other day: I’m DOING TOO MUCH! Why? Cause there are things that I can control with a simple no.

Should I be putting in extra time at work, when I’m not getting compensated for it? No. Should I be helping out on assisting someone else on doing their job when they can do it themselves? No. That’s the problem, my ability to be a team player at times, can be construed for people taking advantage when the opportunity arises. Enough, already, enough, enough, enough!

I already have a ton of stress in my life between dealing with working 2 jobs and attending school full-time, while trying to balance family and a social life, why am I adding more pressure that is unnecessary? That is a question I have not been able to answer, but I’m starting to grasp that I’m an overachiever. I don’t like to lose and I especially don’t like the idea of people thinking I’m a quitter. Quitter I am not, but making it clear that there is no reason for me to tackle more than what is already on my plate is something I need to come to terms with.

I mean, I can’t even recall the last time I took a vacation, where I was literally on vacation. No emails, no checking the phone, no writing, no anything. My body is definitely giving me signals to pause it a bit. Take a breather, relax, chill, because what is to be done now can be done tomorrow and it’s the honest truth. I’m that type of person that hates things unfinished. If it’s not done, it leaves like an empty feeling in my stomach that is almost impossible for me to describe with simple words. I can rest and be assured when something is done because I know it will get done versus relying on the fact that someone else might have to do it.

The problem with such levels of thinking is that it does indeed impact a person’s psyche. That ever-lasting feeling of always feeling the need to work, the need to do something takes over the mind and in some occasions your body to the point that even when you attempt to RELAX, you can’t.

I mean, I’ve gotten so stressed from work at times, anytime my phone vibrates I automatically think the worse. My instinct kicks in answering the question, what has transpired now? And the funny notion is 50 percent of the time, it’s not work, but that automatic instinct kicks in and I have trouble shaking that from my mind. So what does one do to ease the level of pressure in their lives? For starters, just learn how to allow the word ‘NO’ to become a part of your vocabulary.

Don’t be afraid to speak and even more importantly, don’t feel guilty for saying it. We are all human beings and there are those times where it just is crucial for your psyche that you say what you mean and actually mean it without any regret whatsoever. Pressure seeks into your life, when you allow it to maneuver itself into a vulnerable opening.

We can’t be superheroes even though a large majority of us attempt to do so all the time in our lives. Even superheroes get burnt out people, so don’t feel obligated to do it all. You CAN’T and even if you tell yourself you can, you’re simply fooling yourself until your body crashes and burns. Leave behind the unnecessary pressure, cope with the stress and discover how much exciting life can truly be.