“Everyone encounters stressful moments and situations in their lives. You can let the stress consume you, or endure the pressure in order to grow into a better person and help others. Some people naturally strive in stressful situations. For example, take members of our military, a police officer, a firefighter, or an emergency room physician — they deal with stressful situations every day. They see unpleasant things on a daily basis and still show up for work the next day, ready to tackle any challenge thrown their way and make our lives better. They make the choice daily not to allow these stressful moments define them but use them to grow and make a positive change in our community. I applaud our local military and service personnel. Thank you for your ability to thrive under pressure.”
Amber Embrey is the assistant director of development and communications for the Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville.
“I Googled the word ‘stress.’ ‘Six Simple Secrets for a Stress-Free Life,’ ‘10 Simple Ways To Lead a Stress-Free Life,’‘19 Ways to Live a Stress-Free Life,’ or ‘Top 20 Tips for a Stress-Free Life.’ It started so simple — only six secrets. Secrets? Then, just the top 20 tips? The top 20? There are more than 20? This whole thing is getting stressful! Stress is everywhere, woven into the fabric of our day-to-day lives and our interaction with others. Stress, like change, is unavoidable. It is inevitable. For me, stress can be both good and bad. At times, the stress can be intense. I know it’s time to step back, ask God for a little help, and begin again. Almost always with a different perspective. Sometimes stress can be a motivation, to find a solution to a situation, problem, or opportunity I have been avoiding. Again, prayer and meditation provide a clearer vision of a solution, a way to alleviate something stressful. A stress-free life? I think not, not for me!”
Joseph Holtz is the parish manager at Holy Rosary Catholic Church.
“As a collegiate student athlete, I understand coping with a high amount of stress. There are many things I must juggle, and it took me a while to find a balance between it all. Once I understood what I was striving for, I developed a plan; and once I have a plan, I can attack anything. Be proactive. Avoid late night stress by getting your work done early. Getting plenty of sleep is a great stress deterrent. Stress is inevitable, contagious, but manageable. I only concern myself with the things I have power to change. Ask yourself, ‘Is what you are stressing about going to matter in 50 years?’ Likely not. Ninety percent of the things people worry about don’t even apply and probably won’t happen. Prayer is a great benefit as God is in charge. After giving it my best, I leave it to him. Don’t let juggling your stress weigh you down. Remember, stressed spelled backwards is desserts.”
Olivia Panella is a junior at the University of Evansville studying civil engineering, minoring in mathematics, and playing on the women’s division 1 soccer team.
“I try to think of stress more from an external perspective. Stress is cyclical and has a way of multiplying, especially when we put it on others. No two people have the same life experience, and everyone has a different reaction to the same external stressors. Perception is reality, and we must try to stop measuring others’ reactions to stress through our own lens. It’ll stress you out! You never know the burden someone else is carrying. When you relate to, respect, and empower others through the lens of empathy, you reduce the stress on those around you and, in turn, limit the stress on yourself. When we can focus our energy on stressors in our life we can’t control, we can deal with them more constructively. Life will never be completely stress free, and it shouldn’t be. But, we can make life a lot less stressful by embracing an empathetic perspective. Empathy is the greatest stress reducer that money can’t buy.”
Matt Wagner is the owner of Matt Wagner Design and the marketing co-chair for the Evansville Trails Coalition.