4 Easy Steps for Dealing with Stress

23.09.15 Learn Blog SumoSalad

Issues with friends or family, work, or fighting with your partner, you name it, there are many things that can contribute to feeling stressed. A study done by Stress Busters showed that more than 75% of people in Australia are concerned with the level of stress in their lives.

Lizza Gebilagin, Cleo editor and fearless female extraordinaire (pictured with the amazing Ronda Rousey above), felt a great deal of pressure entering into her first ever MMA fight. Here she gives us 4 easy steps she has learned for handling stress.

Lizza writes…

How to handle stress like a pro (fighter)

As much as we wish life were a montage of beautiful Valencia-filtered Instagram photos, everyday-evidence shows us that it isn’t the case. And you know what? That’s perfectly okay. Healthy, even. In an article I wrote for CLEO magazine recently, called “Redefining happiness”, the experts agree that the key to leading a happy life isn’t trying to be blissful 24/7, it’s about accepting the good with the so-called bad emotions. Stress being one of those baddies.

So the question is, how do we handle stress? I’m going to be entirely honest with you here (and it’s not going to be all pretty). When I was training for my first mixed martial arts fight, there were many times when the stress got to me. I was training two to three times a day, while working full-time in magazines – the hours of which extend over your usual 9-to-5. The pressure to fight after training for only seven months got to me. Even though this deadline was self-imposed. I was physically exhausted. My lowest point was coming home from training a few weeks before my fight, so extremely exhausted that I sat on the floor of the shower and cried until my boyfriend found me. Here’s what I did to help me handle the pressure:

Remember your big goal.

Knowing that I was fighting because I wanted to conquer my fear and prove to myself I was tough enough to get into the octagon was all I needed to push through and keep learning and training. This was the first time ever in my life that I was backing myself and I was NOT going to give up easily.


Nowadays, when I start to feel stressed at work, I know I need to get my butt to a yoga studio or boxing gym. But while I was preparing for my fight, the opposite was happening where I was training so hard I needed to make rest days a priority.

Lizza enjoying a stress-free day with her boyfriend

Write it down.

I’m a big fan of journaling. I’ve been doing it since I was in primary school. Writing down what’s worrying me gets it out of my head and helps me to …

Create a plan of action.

During my training, I had weekly goals that I’d set myself because tackling the huge one (the fight) was too much. The smaller goals helped me move in the right direction without feeling overwhelmed.

What are some of your ways to handle stress? Let us know by using the hashtag #empoweringyou.

Lizza & Richie on Managing Stress

Lizza caught up with Richie Vas (one of Lizza’s trainers & Pro MMA fighter) following her first MMA fight. Here they talk about the ups and downs and how Lizza has been able to turn stress surrounding her into something positive.

Lizza Gebilagin is the deputy editor of CLEO magazine. Watch her face her fears in the Fight Like A Girl documentary series.

POSTED BY: Lizza Gebilagin

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