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Hip-Hop's Way of Avoiding Stress

Two weeks ago, I had a meeting with 11 Black male students about their ability to overcome obstacles. Our conversation occurred during a meeting under the theme Still Standing. The meeting was themed Still Standing to identify and address all the issues they have experienced just to become college students. Students identified that they had experienced death of family, friends, peer pressure, and the constant struggle of being a Black man in America. Students expressed that too often they feel like they are being pinned to across. During the discussion, I could see that students were not only searching for answers, but they were also questioning if the feeling of being pinned will last for the rest of their life.

Constantly thinking about such an issue can be very detrimental to an individual’s health because it causes stress. Stress is interference that disturbs a person’s mental or physical well-being. Research suggests that stress can be damaging to almost every bodily system. In fact, I have seen colleagues experience digestion, reproduction, and tissue repair because of stress. Stress harms us mentally because we often make unwise choices in a rush of escaping it. According to rapper, G Herbo the need to escape feeling stress causes PTSD(Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). In fact, music artist 21 Savage also raps about both the negative and positives that stress brings when you are successful on the song, A Lot.

However, the purpose of this message is to provide you with some simple ways to avoid stress by keeping you mentally and physically sharp. As humans, the first thing we can do to reduce stress is understand that “you and only you can choose your attitude”. This means that only you can change your mood about stress. Only you have the power to say, “I am not going to let my emotions takeover my life.” Part of removing or reducing stress consists of managing physical, intellectual, emotional, social, occupational, environmental, and spiritual wellness.

Although there are 7 elements for reducing stress, I just want to focus on 4. First, I recommend that you take care of yourself physically. Adopting a healthy lifestyle affects not only your body but your mind. For some, you may think that you do not have time to attend a gym or the finances to pay for a membership. Well, here is a recommendation. Follow a fitness Youtuber. I follow a fitness Youtuber named Bully Juice and complete his 10-minute exercise routines daily. With that said, who does not have 10 minutes to spare? If you say you don’t then you are just making excuses!

The second element to focus on is Intellectual wellness. Intellectual wellness consists of focusing on learning and being willing to see things differently. In other words, have an openness to new ideas and other perspectives about life.

Third, as mentioned earlier, you must display emotional wellness by being aware of your personal feelings. Hip-Hop legend DMX referred to it as being conscience enough to avoid yourself from Slippin. You have to constantly remind yourself that you get to choose your attitude and that your attitude determines your latitude.

Last, you need to concentrate on spiritual wellness. According to religious scholar, John Piper in his book Don’t Waste Your Life. He states:

If you want your life to count, if you want the ripple effect of the pebbles you drop to become waves that reach the ends of the earth and roll on into eternity, you don’t need to have a high IQ. You don’t have to have good looks or riches or come from a fine family or a fine school. Instead you have to know a few great, majestic, unchanging, obvious, simple, glorious things-or one great all-embracing thing- and be set on fire by them.

In other words, Piper is suggesting that a wasted life is a life without passion. From a spiritual perspective, you were born to have an impact on this world and your conscience (the spirit) will tell you what you are passionate about and should act on. Therefore, I challenge you to follow this wellness plan. If you dismiss it, just remember it only takes one time to F-Up your whole Wikipedia if you let stress get to you.


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