“Feel like I’m riding on a chartered plane of broken hearted pain. Turbulence is constant my pilot has gone insane.” J. Cole
Events of life that pull us in one direction and then in another. Sometimes you’re under the water frantically fighting to reach the surface. Gasping for air you take in a deep breath and feeling lucky to have that breath. The heart is beating wildly as a surge of adrenoline courses through the arteries as you feel relief and fear at the same time. In those moments of great stress the body responds and responds quickly. There is very little if any thought on what needs to take place in the moment only that something has to take place so that you can get air in the lungs again.
Stress in moments of real danger is built into the fight or flight response that everyone experiences at some point in their life. The body naturally takes over when there is no time to “think” about what should happen. Right or wrong the brain does what ever it can to stay alive.
That kind of overwhelming stress is important in those life or death situations. In every day life that feeling of stress does not serve you. Stress and the associated hormones rob you of the life you desire. Stress creates tension, poor eating habits, lack of sleep, and an unhealthly lifestyle. Just look around you and look at the people you say moving through life. What do you see? Do you see people who are not getting enough sleep? Do you see people who have eating disorders and who have unhealthy lifestyles? What part of those life styles are due to the stress of life?
Over the years things happen and they created a sense of stress. Left unresolved those stresses are carried around with you every day. Those stresses form a stress baseline from which you operate. You can add to the baseline stresses (habit stresses perhaps) and overtime that baseline stress goes up. More stress but not enough stress that is causes a lot of problems. Maybe there are just a few more headaches than there were before and maybe there are some unexplained pains. Perhaps there are some tighter than normal muscles but nothing that can’t be dealt with. The pain isn’t chronic it just shows up once in a while.
Then comes the visit by someone and you desire to please them by inviting them to your home. This disrupts your daily patterns and adds some stress knowing that you have entertain this guest, feed them and do things that are outside of your normal daily routines. A couple of days and it isn’t too bad. A few hours less of sleep, the normal exercise program is put on hold and there is just a bit more extra eating and celebrating. A few more days pass by and the guest entertainment activities are cutting into other things you really enjoy to do. You’re losing more sleep and you’re less energetic than you were before. Now, work is becoming a bit more challenging with less sleep and the engagement level is declining. A rush order comes in and you’re the person that is called to handle it. Less sleep, more work, and at a time you feel you should be entertaining your guest. The pressure to get the work done is annoying, the work is more difficult and you feel tension building up. You want to get home and you’re working later. You make a few mistakes and correct them … time is going by and you’re falling behind. The muscles tighten up, the stomach gets upset and you’re uttering words that aren’t a normal part of your vocabulary. You’re experiencing stress. Now you’re a bit angry … tired and hungry as well. You finally get out of work …
As you rush out of the building to the car you take a glance at your watch and see that you’re just about two hours later than usual. The burning sensation in the stomach grows just a little bit and you race out of the parking lot. One red light, another one and another one. You’re tired of waiting … and you make some quick moves in and out of traffic maybe exceeding the speed limit a bit. A quick glance in the rear view mirror and you notice some bright lights flashing. As a well trained driver you pull over to the side of the road to let the police car pass and it follows you to the side of the road. Great … more stress. Add to that moving violation that fact that the insurance has lapsed and is out of date … more stress.
It doesn’t take much to create a scenario where stress starts to compound and it brings you above your threshold that you can bear. All it will take is one word from anyone and a fusillade of unfriendly speech will cascade into their face.
Now the stress has exceeded the normal threshold and in a sustained state starts to bring about more severe stress complications producing sadness, grief, increased anger or withdrawal.
Where is your stress level? How are you dealing with your stress?