When stress seems to be invading my inner space, the first thing that I do is leave. I physically leave the situation to allow myself time to re-evaluate what factors are causing me the most stress and how can I effectively change my current situation to better suit my needs. It sounds very technical, but for the most part, I run away.
Recently, I went down to Cape Breton to clear my head. I did the things that I love to do like gardening and visiting with people who enrich my life, but I still couldn’t find my pathway. I was lost and still wandering. Stress consumes a person like a snake swallowing a mouse. Every part of everything that I was trying to alleviate was completely ineffective because my mind, although I believe was clear, was full. Full of anger and animosity, confusion and misgivings of how things are. I am a trusting person, to a fault, naive, but I do not apologize for this. My husband loves this about me. He has told me that I am like this and it is one of the most charming traits that I have. I always see the good in people, and I expect people to be good in general. Maybe this is a starry eyed approach, but it is truly who I am.
So let’s talk about stress reduction. Before, in my early years of my life, the only way I knew of to relieve stress was to literally explode. My temper would flare up and I would become a human volcano, and whoever was on the receiving end of what was, essentially, my temper tantrum, well, it sucked to be them. After said explosions, I would feel fantastic but at the expense of someone else. This method, although in appearance seemed to be effective, never addressed any underlying issues, so the next explosions would be great, and quite a lot worse. I had a lot of anger. What does anger do to one’s soul? Well, it rots it away. The person that you long to be is hidden behind darkness and all that is visible in this world is negative. EVERY movement, EVERY spoken word, EVERY person is out to get you; this is the world that you see. It is only when you snap out of this unseeing, negative state of mind, that you are better able to see the true world around you. When you get to that point you can start the healing process of going from angry to content to happy. Understand, when you are a happy person, it does not mean that you are happy all the time, but it means that this life that you have is enough.
I like meditation. Not the traditional meditation of crossing your legs and controlling your breathing, but it is something like that. I like being outside and breathing in the air. My mind will still and all the moving pieces inside will slow. I notice things. I will see and hear the birds and eavesdrop in on their conversations. There may be one in a tree and another in a nest. You can always tell which one of the birds is the female; she is usually the one giving the orders to the male bird. Noticing my environment allows me to recognise that, no matter what I do, life will always carry on with or without me. So, why not enjoy life becoming a part of something instead of fighting with it all.
Calming my thoughts to the rhythm of the outside world enables me to find the peace and solace I need to refocus on what in the world is the most important to me; my husband and my children. When I become overwhelmed with other factors, like bills and such, I still take a step back. I cannot allow this to cause me to drown, and become something that I am not meant to be.
Laughter is the best medicine. Try it once and a while. When you are annoyed and irritated by let’s say you significant other or children, start making fun of yourself. Emotions are a great and reliable guage, but sometimes they complicate simple things and inevitably blow things out of proportion. So, for example, George and I got into a fight the other day (stress does this), out of the blue, something in my head, after all of the arguing, made fun of my foolishness. I am not saying that I do not have a right to be upset, but in this particular case, I was being ridiculous. Being married is not an easy thing. You need to work at it every day. It is especially not easy for two bull-headed idiots like George and me.
So laugh. I do. It is nice to hear. It is a nice feeling, unless you are like me. I love to laugh but if I laugh too hard or too long I will start to cough and then I can’t breathe. Really though, it is only George that makes me laugh that hard, and it is usually something absolutely crazy, and imaginative. Mairi used to tell this joke. It to me wasn’t a very funny joke, but for her and Ashleen it was the BEST JOKE EVER! I am going to share it with you. It is a knock, knock joke. They heard this joke on Zoboomafoo, when they were children.
“Panther no panths, I’m going thwimming”
See, funny sure, but only for a moment. Life is way too short to take too seriously. The moment you learn to laugh at yourself and not take everything so seriously, you will reduce your stress level, increase your cognitive abilities and change your life overall.
Happy Does It! :o)