stressed about stress?

>> Friday, September 4, 2009

How many times have you been worried you'd freak out about something?

Or have you ever thought back on a situation and kicked yourself for losing it?

These are the kind of past and present thoughts that can really ruin your (current) day. All that ruminating also distracts you from the present moment. All the stress about stress makes things even worse than the original stress.

Think of stress as a dot, like the period at the end of this sentence. But when we stress about it, the dot grows. When we fight it or avoid it, it grows more and more. This causes suffering. This battle can kill us before there is ever a war. OK, not kill us exactly, but give us quite a headache. Or a mean eye twitch.

The point is that we need to learn to befriend our feelings, even the ones we don't like, especially the ones we don't like. What is your least favorite feeling? For me, I'll do anything to avoid crying, so sadness is the one I hate. It makes me feel weak and vulnerable.

Because I don't cry (read: hate feeling sad), I end up getting teary when I laugh hard and whenever the wind seems to blow toward my face. Think that's coincidence?

However, I need to allow myself to feel sadness because all the avoiding is costing me. It's causing me to get really angry at myself. And when I get angry at myself, let's just say I'm not Mary Freakin' Poppins.

And so, I need to get to a place where I can welcome my sadness. Having feelings means I'm alive. And I am thankful, really thankful to be alive. And if being alive means I feel sad sometimes...I am working on it.

(Photo Credit: Finsec
, A National Acrobat)


Mary September 7, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

I've cried so much in my adult life, and it is always such a release. I'm sure I'm making up for growing up in a home with lots of suppressed grief. It takes time to change those emotional habits, but it's worth it. I do feel more alive all the time! Thanks for this post.

Maggie Madison September 7, 2009 at 5:07 PM  

Mary, that makes a lot of sense. The idea of a release sounds great, I'll have to try it.