However, with the right support from my family, friends and school, the maze eventually came to an end and I was able to come out of my exams a better person with an increased knowledge of myself and am now happily in Year 13 of sixth form. I learnt what triggered my stress as well as exams, why this is and more importantly, how to control my physiological and emotional reaction so that I had a normal and healthy amount of stress in my life. Of course there have been a fair few bumps and obstacles along the way since then, but from July onwards I have been a very happy girl.
Why am I revealing all of this to you? Part of Sunflower Blogger is to advocate happiness and I want to help people to avoid overpowering stress situations from what I have learnt in my own experiences. What can only be described as the number one rule when coping with a stressful situation is to NOT CATASTROPHIZE. Although you may feel like your world is going to implode and fall apart before your very eyes, I can guarantee that it is not. Obviously when you are stressed it is difficult to think positively, but what really helped me was learning to turn my negative thoughts into positive ones. For example, I'd be initially saying to myself 'I haven't done enough work, I need to do more revision' and I eventually changed this thought to 'I have done enough work, it would do me good to have a little break.' Of course I found this really difficult to begin with, but if you can master the ability to turn your negative thoughts on their head when you are feeling very overwhelmed, it makes the smaller, daily stressors in life easier to cope with.
And finally, as the title of the post says.... SMILE MORE! I know it's difficult to do when we're feeling down but that's why we have to look for reasons to make us smile. Whether it be going out with our friends or watching cat videos on YouTube (pffft.... that's never me...), when you're in dark mindset you need to embrace all of the little things in your life that make you happy. You're favourite food, you're favourite music- even your favourite bra! Only you know what truly makes you happy and feel good- so take advantage of that!