On Stress

Each week I give myself a topic and then I am supposed to do five small entries on Twitter and one long essay.

For this week, I selected “stress.”

Ironically or coincidentally, my life outside of blogging was so stressful that I totally forgot to do my five small entries on Twitter save Monday.

This seems to be the nature of stress it takes over. Takes over our thoughts, our time and our lives. And most of us spend a great deal of time doing battle to take back our lives from stress. There are whole libraries of self help books on the topic. And yet, no matter how many advances in technology and medicine and every other field there have been, humans still have stress.

For me, I deal with various stresses on a daily basis. It seems as I have gotten older, my stresses have shifted. When I was young, I stressed a great deal about whether or no people, in particular males liked me. My relationships were the main point of stress. Both friends and boyfriends. However, I met my husband and while we have our disagreements, there is rarely stress when it comes to our relationship. My stress in that regard ceased.

My stress then started to come from money because I didn’t have enough of it. I worried I would not find a job or a job that would pay be sufficiently. I had spread sheets for budgets and was constantly in fear of not having money to pay the rent.

I then got a good paying job. Now the main source is my job and tasks related to my job. I lay in the dark at night riddled with fear I have made some irreversible mistake that will not only ruin something but also take my entire career with it. I long for a job that has no stress. But I suppose if I discovered that magical stress free job, if there even is such a thing, something else would pop up for me to stress about.

Stress is a strange thing. It is essentially just an emotion but to most of us, we see it as an actual thing, lurking around every corner. We are constantly trying to escape stress, reduce stress, and do away with stress. We go so far as to take medication to try to rid ourselves of it as if it is a disease.

In the end stress is just part of the human condition much like our need for food and water. We will always have some form of stress. Even happy occasions such as weddings can induce stress. I recall on my own wedding day being so stressed my back began to spasm.

Though I know it is futile I continue to try to hide from stress. But sometimes I just let the feeling wash over me. I ride it like a wave. Allowing myself to feel the panic, for my heart to race, for my thoughts to run rapid. And like other emotions, even without solving the problem that triggers the stress, without meditating or doing anything at all it dissipates. Because stress is just a feeling, its our body doing what it has done for eons, it is reacting to the world in an attempt to protect us. Stress was a reaction that prevented us from being eaten by a larger animal or by our boss. But it is not a reaction that we can do away with for good.

Even if it means it prevents us sometimes from remembering to do things we enjoy, like blogging.

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