Fighting Stress is a Contradiction in Terms

Go Away - Ya bother me

Go Away – Ya bother me

Since I have several journals on the burner at any given time, I tend to stumble upon things I’ve written sometimes months or even years ago. I’m a bit disorganized with my notebooks. I had chuckle thinking about how I would come across to someone who decided to posthumously recreate my life through my memoirs. I’ll be journaling along and turn the page to come across notes I scribbled years ago. I turned the page yesterday morning to find something I wrote back in April of 2012 that must have been bugging me at the time.

The entry was just a one liner “Fighting Stress is a Contradiction in Terms.” Think about it for a second. Most stress is the result of being stuck in fight or flight mode to begin with. To fight stress just stresses you out more. Much better to let go, take a step back, disengage, and look at the big picture. With my bipolar brain I can easily manufacture stress out of nowhere. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed is familiar to me, especially after a night of weird or bad dreams. Since many of them involve Mr. Husband I’m frequently afraid to share them with him because I don’t want to hurt his feelings.

However I’ve found that if I do trust the Hubman with nightmares as well as my dreams I feel much better afterwards. It’s a huge trust issue for me. I’ve always felt that if you tell people what you’re afraid of it gives them ammunition to scare you at inopportune moments.

The nightmare scenario that happened a few days ago was that Hubman came and told me that his secretary and her husband lost their house somehow. The solution was that we were going to give them our house and move in with his mother. I love my mother-in-law like my own mother. However the same as with my own mother, I sure as hell don’t want to live with her.

In the nightmare I announced that I was not OK with this and declared that I was going to leave. Mr. Hubman snarled “OK fine!” and then took a trash bag, went in my bathroom and started scooping the contents of the medicine cabinet and drawers into said trash bag. Oh, that really pissed me off, and then I woke up, thank God.

I told him about the dream and he laughed. Grrrrr. I demand to be taken seriously, even when I’m acting silly! He told me that when he left for college he knew he was never going back to his parents’ house…ever. He had no desire to live with them again, then or now. I think the thing that upset me most about the dream was that he made a major life decision that affected us both without consulting with me first.

So back to stress. I read somewhere that one of our founding fathers, but I don’t remember which one, I think it was Benjamin Franklin, had a system for handling worry. He would write things he was worried about on a slip of paper and put them in a teapot he kept for that purpose. Then every Wednesday afternoon he would take down the teapot, read the papers and worry then if needed. Usually it was not needed and most of his worries had resolved themselves on their own, or he had distanced himself enough to think of a solution.

I like that system. Maybe I’ll try it 🙂

7 responses

  1. Highly recommend you watch this TED talks by Kelly McGonigal regarding stress. 🙂

    1. Thanks, I’ll check it out 🙂

  2. Oh, I like that about most stress being “the result of being stuck in fight or flight mode to begin with” and of how trying to fight it just ends up increasing your stress. I had that ALL last year, even involving an attorney and all. Horrible experience, but I praise God for blessing me with an attorney to help me through it all, which is almost crazy to think about – who’s ever thankful for their attorney? I was because I had had previous ones who just treated me like a file number before. After that year-long fight, yes, I did take flight, and now I’m good. Excellent post!

  3. Stress is a bitch. I worry over nothing. I should try Ben Franklin’s worry and the tea pot method. Sounds like it might work.

    1. It’s worth a shot and teapots are pretty anyway 🙂

  4. I like the worry-over-tea idea myself. Thanks for the recommendation.

    1. You are welcome. Hope it works.

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