3 Tips to Overcome Stress & Anxiety!


Stress can be pretty overwhelming, but it
always helps to know thy enemy. I like to quote the Bible. So what we’re gonna do is,
we’re gonna actually go back in time in my brand new time-traveling protocopter; I’ll
fix this later, ’cause the goggles are broke. But, uh, yeah, let’s go. Let’s go back in
time to when stress evolved, eh? Here we are in the early days of our species,
like before you could call the internet on the phone, even. Stress then was one of our
best buddies. Part of our fight-or-flight response, it helped us survive. Modern life has removed a lot of those mortal
threats that made our stress levels so helpful. The “watch out for mastodon” part of our brain
needed something to do. These days they occupy themselves by kind of freaking out about our
daily tasks and responsibilities. So how do we fight stress? Step one: identify
the source of your stress. Maybe it’s work load, or social isolation, or relatives. Even
positive life events like marriage, or a new puppy, or a new house. Those can be stressful
too. If you can’t quite figure out the source,
we would recommend maybe keeping a stress journal. Take note of the context of your
stress, like, what you’re doing, what time it was, who you were with, did you eat something
weird? Hopefully you’ll start to notice some common patterns that will help you identify
the source. I do want to take care to note, though, that
your stressors might not actually be external. Like they could come from an anxiety disorder
or from how you’re mentally framing neutrally external events. Those can be helped by some
of the techniques we’ll discuss to a certain extent, but we can’t really overstate the
amount of help you can get from a licensed therapist. Step 2: Attack the attack. After you identify
the problem, identify what you can control about it. This is recommended by a lot of
psychologists who practice the popular cognitive behavioral therapy model. So we’ll start with
behavioral changes you can make: eating healthier, getting exercise, getting enough sleep, a
mindfulness practice. Or say you’re overwhelmed by your work load, you can take steps to change
how much is expected of you. Something I’ve noticed is that people tend
to underestimate how much time and energy a task is going to take. So something I recommend
that you do, because I recommend that I do it too: only take on about 75% of what you
think you can do because that’s probably more realistic. It can be extremely hard to say no to opportunities
and favors because we’re afraid of missing out, that’s understandable. But if we over-commit,
burnout is inevitable, which is going to negate all the positives you thought you were gonna
receive, so just respect your own self and limitations, like that’s a very strong thing
to do. Speaking of respecting yourself, let’s say
that there is another person who is causing your stress. Behaviorally, there are a couple
things you can do. 1. Tactfully confront them and work the issues out. 2. Minimize the amount
of time you spend with them. But, realistically guys, I admit that you can’t always patch
things over and you can’t always avoid that person, so in that case: what the heck? Well, this is where the cognitive part of
cognitive behavioral therapy comes in. Basically you mentally re-frame the stressor by changing
what it means to you. For most people, there are three common beliefs that go through your
mind when you’re depressed. 1. It’s personal. It’s your fault. 2. It’s permanent. It will
never go away. 3. It’s pervasive. Everything is bad. Similar thought processes can also
cause stress. Actually writing down your thoughts and then writing down logical rebuttals of
them, like that can be weirdly helpful too. Ok, so you’ve attacked the attack. You’re
ready for step three: Maybe don’t actually attack the attack…? Doing the cognitive
behavioral therapy techniques to reduce stress can sometimes actually increase stress. If
you’re one of the people that that happens to sometimes, I would personally recommend
acceptance and commitment therapy. So ACT basically espouses a radical acceptance
of reality. Rather than trying to better control your thought and feelings, it teaches you
to mindfully “just notice” them, accept that they exist, and commit to living by your values
regardless. For many people, the result of this is an increased sense of well-being and
purpose. Accepting and committing does not mean that you stop taking action, it means
that you accept that reality is hard, sometimes it hurts, but life and effort are rich and
worth the candle. The truth is that stress is a part of life,
and maybe that’s kind of a good thing. Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal has written and
TED talked about how to take advantage of some of the surprising benefits of stress.
But still, reducing the negative effects of stress is a very good thing. Huge amounts
of stress will probably not vanish overnight, but with focus and experimentation, it’s gonna
improve. And that is it from us today. If you have
any tips about stress reduction, please let us know in the comment section below, we would
love to hear from you! In the meantime- (beep) Hey guys, I don’t mean to stress you out with
a lack of a catchphrase joke but Emma and I have some cool things we wanted to share
with you. Now these projects were both a long time in the making and of course when you’re
going through a long project, it’s almost always stressful, so we wanted to share a
couple things that have been possible because we’ve dealt with that stress. As some of you guys know Emma and I are also
young adult novelists, and Emma’s debut novel “First and Then” which is amazing is coming
out in October and this is the cover. It is so beautiful. And I’m also really excited
to announce that my second book is coming out in April 2016 and I’m about to show you
the cover, and this is the first time anybody has seen it… Now some of you guys might be wondering, “Mike,
what is that on the cover? It looks like an eye, but also… maybe the bottom of a flying
saucer? Did you write a young adult thriller about aliens coming to Earth?” Yes. As you guys know, ET is my best bud. Mr. Fahrenheit
is like, more action-packed and a little bit scarier than ET. It’s like… adventure…
wonder… high school… ray guns. So there will be some links below with more
information. Ok guys, anything you want to say before we
go bud? ET doll: ET loves you.

64 thoughts on “3 Tips to Overcome Stress & Anxiety!

  1. I might be just dense, but didn't see a link to the TED talk mentioned. So here is what I found.  

    https://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend

  2. The ACT works for me…but only after a amount of time has passed. 
    I want to see a therapist, but i dont have the money

  3. i used to get stressed out about homework that was due the next day. Even if I knew I had plenty of time to finish and it was completely within my ability just the fact that it was due in less than 24 hours added unnecessary stress to my brain, so I started planning to complete each assignment one day before it was due. That way I was less stressed about an upcoming deadline, and if I decided I didn't have time or needed more sleep or something crazy came up, I would still have one more day to finish it. Luckily this works for me because I don't have a procrastination issue. Not sure how helpful it would be to anyone else..

  4. i usually get a lot of anxiety over big events (like a dance recital for example) And the way I've learned to deal with it is to keep telling myself that it's only one day and after that I will be able to relax. And then I imagine how calm I will be after it's over, and what enjoyable, non-stressful things I'm going to do the next day, and doing that helps me convince myself that it's not as big a deal as my anxiety is making it seem, and that it will all be over and okay eventually.

  5. Meditation is really good for stress.
    It has made a huge impact on my life. I recommend you guys try it. 🙂

  6. A lot of these are tips I've picked up over the years to decrease my anxiety. I just blocked a friend's teenager on FB because she isn't good for me having positivity in my life.

  7. Can you talk about how to start getting professional mental health care? It's really hard! Especially if you're not in school, and especially when you're struggling with depression and/or anxiety!

  8. Also, a good read on stress is "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: An Updated Guide to Stress, Stress Related Disease and Coping" by Standford University Professor Robert M. Sapolsky

  9. This is the second video uploaded today that I've seen that involve these magical blue-green time traveling goggles….Tomska just had them. hmmmmmm

  10. You kind of covered this near the end, but you have to be careful avoiding 'stressors', it can sometimes reinforce the idea that the stressors are 'dangerous' which is of course rarely true.

  11. queen reference with mr fahrenheit? id just finished watching flash gordon before this video too. its that kind of day 🙂 
    freddie and the boys are good at calming down my anxiety

  12. Loved this episode. My husband and I can get stressed out easily sometimes and these tips will come in handy.

  13. I like to go for walks when I am stressed. I got an app that blocks social media, streaming, and web browsing apps from 11PM to 6AM on work(school)nights. My sleep still isn't great, but is has improved. All this is to say, start with focusing on self care.
    How is my appetite?
    How is my sleep?
    Am I clean?
    Have I been outside today?
    How are my feelings?

  14. Ooh! I really liked your first book, so even though aliens aren't really my thing these days, I'll be sure to look for it next spring. Great video too, thanks.

  15. I am a BIG fan of lists. I know for some people making lists of things they have on their plate makes their problems more difficult, but for me, writing things out and planning what times I can accomplish them and then crossing them off makes me feel a lot more secure and satisfied. I have anxiety and I deal with it by looking at everything as a whole rather than pushing them away, which makes it worse.

  16. You sort of touched on the single most important thing I do when dealing with stress: figure out what you can and cannot change! If you can't change, quit stressing about it and just accept it. If you can change it, then figure out how to do so.

    The most important thing you cannot change is other people. Unless you're talking about your kids while they're still young, you can't change them. Best you can do is ask them to change. So either ask them or don't, and then deal with the stress in the manners you described.

  17. How is it that I smoke a joint and suddenly all my subscriptions suddenly upload their trippiest video ever?

  18. I'm stressed because I don't have a job, am currently broke, and will soon be in constantly accumulating debt. What can I do about that? Apply to jobs–I continually do, and have yet to get a call back from anyone except temp agencies who consistently build up false hope (three different agencies so far, over many months, and somehow every single potential position they've found has fallen through before I even get to speak to the employer). I can speak to managers–I do, and still no call back. I can apply to DIFFERENT jobs–I'm applying to everything from bagboy at a grocery store (a job I did for 4 years throughout high school, but my old manager won't hire me back, and the managers at other stores aren't calling back even when they tell me to my face they'll consider me), all the way up to senior-level web development and software development jobs, and everything in between. For over a year now, nothing. No calls back.

    I don't know what to do. I literally don't know how else to get money, without going the morally objectionable routes of "steal it" or "sell cocaine" (I wouldn't know where to get cocaine in the first place, anyway XD ).

    So basically, the CBT method just doesn't apply because there are no actions I can take to change this, and there's no logical rebuttal to "probabilistically, this will continue for at least awhile, and during that time my debt will increase every month". I saw a therapist for awhile, while I could afford to. She eventually gave up on me. Not the sort of "I don't care" quitting, but she had gone through all my options and I wasn't able to do any of them (she diagnosed me with depression and anxiety disorders, but I can't afford medicine to treat them). So she finally told me not to make another appointment, that I could call her if there's an emergency, but no more sessions (which might also have to do with the fact that I wasn't able to pay her session bills on time anymore).

    So overall…I'm in a rut that I see no way out of. And yes, typing this all out does help a little, temporarily, even though it's just a random comment on YouTube, so…yeah.

  19. Hey thanks for making these videos, they make me happy. It's just great that it's possible for great people make to great content that is funny, entertaining and applicable to my life. Thanks!
    Also, both novels look really fun. I shall have to check them out. 🙂

  20. A thing that I have found to help myself for both stress and depression is to do some thing difficult. Just for fun. Take on challenging endeavors as a hobby. What that can mean to each individual varies greatly. If you are caught up in the thralls of depression that can be as hard as brushing your teeth and taking a shower or doing the dishes. I had spent far to much of my life trying to make it easier, so when it got difficult, I got stressed out and depressed. So I started doing difficult activities and then hobbies. There can be a load of positive feeling from accomplishing these things. So by the time life throws me a curve ball and rent goes up and my work load doubles, I can shrug it off and go pfff I do more difficult things just for fun. That's just a lil thing I've found that happens to work for me. Trying to make life was easy was difficult, taking control of the difficulty curve in my life has made it much easier.

  21. Something about the "acceptance and commitment therapy" part made me incredibly emotional and I don't know why. 
    Like, you can just do that? You can just accept your thoughts and keep on regardless? I didn't know that was a thing. Wow.

  22. Something that I've done before that might help: write a list of the things getting you stressed/anxious at the moment, then write a list of good things, good feelings or things that are going well at the moment. They don't even have to be significant, it could just be drinking hot chocolate through a biscuit (ideally a TimTam). Like, things are kind of shitty right now but at least wonderful moments like that exist in the world for you to enjoy.

  23. I thankfully don't suffer to much debilitating stress that often but this video has really helped me frame some of the conversations I'll have in the future with some of my friends who do suffer from it. Thank you. Also great news about your books, I look forward to reading them.

  24. These are some fantastic tips for stress, Mike. I love them so much. 🙂 Can't wait to read your next book, Mike! 😀

  25. Thanks for also including the bit about ACT! Even though I know mental illness is irrational, I can't change my irrational thoughts, so that one tends to work better for me than CBT.

  26. I get stressed at work sometimes, and there are two things I can do that almost always have an immediate impact on my stress levels:
    1. Clean up my workspace. For serious, cleaning my cluttered desk somehow makes me feel like I have things under control.
    2. Create a plan of attack. I write down all the things I need to do that are causing me so much stress. Then I create essentially an agenda for when I'll complete them. It helps me realize that getting things done is possible, which relieves my stress. (Occasionally, it is revealed that getting everything done is not possible, in which case I figure out how to let some of the things go, and even if that makes me feel like a failure in some ways, at least the stress is gone.)

  27. How I handle stress in incredibly short term ways (like if you're actively panicking and nearing a serious and debilitating attack):
    Regulate your breathing. Try to breathe a little deeper, being super aware of the in/out and try to get as much oxygen as possible. 
    Drink some water. For me, it helps if the water is very cold as well and it kind of snaps my system.
    Cool off, literally. When I'm about to start having an anxiety attack, I start sweating. I feel really overheated and almost trapped. Having a small desk fan or going into a cold room (or outside during winter) has helped me IMMENSELY to regulate this and calm me down a little bit.

  28. I need to learn your book pitching ways: "Adventure. Wonder. High School. Ray Guns." Yep, I'm going to read that.

  29. I think this is a super important video for me because I recently suffered from severe anxiety (holding down 2 jobs and online classes) and now I'm trying to fend off depression (I think it's getting better though). I've always had problems with stress.  However, I think I learned bad management skills from the people around me.  I hope that I can change my strategy once I move to my new place.

  30. I'm so stressed and watching this made me more stressed bc talking about stress makes me more stressed

  31. One of the things I like to do when I'm stressed and/or overwhelmed is sit outside (or on the couch) listening to calm music from my childhood. It makes me temporarily forget the problems I'm facing and relax. When the fifteen minutes are up, I have a fresh mind and I can focus on the things I need to do. I do this once a day and it is incredible how much of a difference it has made for my sanity. (Living with your family in college is not always easy.)

  32. Instead of going from one therapy to the next, why not avoid the sources of stress alltogether, like moving to another country where life is less stressful and people are less unhappy and agressive than in the US?
    Why not remove sources of stress in live, one by one until you feel comfortable?

  33. One of my favorite combatants of stress is the song This Too Shall Pass by Danny Schmidt. It contains the best lyrics I've ever heard about how to calm down:

    "The story goes, or the way that I was told there was a king who always felt too high and then he felt too low. And so he called all the wise men to the hall, and he begged them for a gift to end the rises and the falls. But here's the thing; they came back with a ring. It was simple and was plainly un-befitting of a king. Engraved in black, though it had no front or back but there were words around the band that said *Just know this too shall pass*.

    Or, to quote Welcome to Night Vale, "No state is our state forever."

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