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Life orientation

Grade 8

Handling stress

Module 12

Personal stress

Activity 8:

It is time to put “my very own stress” under the microscope. How can one ever be free of one’s very own stress? After all, stress is caused by the individual way in which each person experiences things. Fortunately there are quite a few factors with which to control one’s very own stress.

Know yourself. If you know what your strong points and your weak points are, and you accept yourself for what you are, you will know what you can handle and what you can’t handle, or what it is that you need to work at. If you are painfully shy (an introvert) it isn’t wise to become a member of the debating team – except if you are determined to overcome your shyness and your coach knows about it. If you are terrified of tests, there is no point in bunking school on test days. Then your fears just increase. Rather prepare thoroughly before a test and tell your teacher about your fear. Try very hard to improve your poor marks, but remember – low marks do not mean that you are an inferior person. If you faint when you see blood, don’t be a member of the first-aid club; rather do something else. You are OK the way you are. We must remember that every human being is a work in the making, and change is necessary in order to handle life. Think like a winner and like a precious, unique being, and act that way. If others misuse you, learn to say NO firmly, but in a friendly manner. It does take some practice and a lot of guts. Next time a lazy scoundrel wants to borrow your book to copy your work, say, “Sorry, I can’t.” You don’t have to explain (and tell a lie). It’s your book. Your work is your responsibility. His work is his responsibility. Now you don’t have to worry that your book will disappear, or that the teacher will catch you out. Therefore, less stress. If the lazybones is cross with you - well, that’s also his problem. Such a person is clearly not a friend.

1. Why must one be aware of his / her weak and strong points?

2. Do you sometimes allow other people to misuse you? Why?

3. Get together with a friend and think of a few ways in which you can help someone to say “no” to lazy scoundrels and other cockroaches. (Violence is not an option.)

Read on.

Find a true friend. Look around a bit and find someone whom you respect. Someone who isn’t always trying to compete with you, and who doesn’t have to be better than you at all cost. It must be someone who accepts you totally for what you are and who is honest with you and doesn’t talk about you behind your back. When two good friends seriously disagree about something, it doesn’t mean that the friendship is over. No, it simply means that there is a problem that has to be solved. People are allowed to differ about things – it’s only natural. Speaking openly with a true friend helps one to feel less alone and it helps to lower one’s tension levels. IF that person is a true friend, remember – it is far better to listen than to force your opinion onto your friend. Give your opinion only if you are asked to do so. If there is a problem that you can’t solve, ask an older, reliable person to give an opinion. True friends care for each other’s well-being and will seek help if there is trouble. Are you helping your friend if you keep quiet about something that may cost his or her life?

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Source:  OpenStax, Life orientation grade 8. OpenStax CNX. Sep 12, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11048/1.1
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