451: Stressful Situations, Good and Bad

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Stress is a part of life. It happens with the bad things, sure, we all realize that – but did you ever stop to realize that stress also happens with the good things, too?

Think about it. When you go on a vacation, that is a darn good thing, proven in studies to be beneficial to you: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/07/business/yourmoney/07shortcuts.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

However, the process of taking a vacation – even the process of planning for a vacation – is stressful. You must choose where to go and what to do, and how much it all will cost. You must book travel, hotel, food, entertainment, etc. You must pack, and travel to get there. There will inevitably be glitches with this planning: a delayed flight, or something wrong with the hotel room, or a problem with the credit card, the restaurant, or the rental car….or SOMEthing you will have to deal with, even if that something is a family member (spouse, child, friend) who is traveling with you. The overall experience might be fabulous – a real stress reliever, but you will encounter some stress in the process of getting the good stuff taken care of.

What about a wedding? That is usually considered a good thing! However, on the list of top 10 most stressful life events, http://paindoctor.com/top-10-stressful-life-events-holmes-rahe-stress-scale/ getting married is number 7.

Getting a new job is usually a joyous occasion – but stress goes hand-in-hand with that, too. There may be a move involved, and even if you don’t have to move, you have to learn a new corporate culture, make new friends and adjust to a new environment and new demands/expectations. Stressful, even though it is a good thing.

What about the birth of a baby? What a blessing!! BUT – having a new baby is a huge (happy) event that causes a lot of stressful disruption to a couple and their family in the process of adjusting to the new baby, and the considerable financial costs associated with the pregnancy and birth, not to mention the costs of providing for a newborn’s needs.

Graduation from high school or college is a milestone ”good” event for someone – but it is also stressful. There are now a lot of plans to be made, and changes to accommodate now that this phase of life is achieved, and new choices must be made about the next phase. Filling out applications for college is stressful, and so is interviewing for jobs. Things to be done and choices to be made! Stress, even when it is all good stuff you are deciding about!

And all of these things that are stressful are GOOD things. I am sure you probably thought of others – the upcoming Christmas holiday season being a prime example. Good times – stressful good times.

This is one reason why ALL humans need to learn coping skills to help reduce stress that don’t involve self-destructive behaviors (such as resorting to alcohol, much as I’d like a stiff drink right about NOW). Everyone needs to be able to deal and reduce their stress levels…now that we all understand that stress is a very real part of the good stuff, as well as the bad stuff. So…..CHILL!!



222:Being at Peace in Your Own Skin

You know, there are days when I wake up just pissed off at the whole world. Usually,that happens when more than one of the balls I am juggling (school, personal, spiritual, financial, family, career, etc.) hits the ground at the same time. I can cope with things going to hell in a handbasket with one area of my life, stressful as that is, but when two or more of them go south, than I usually really have problems coping. Here lately, I seem to be having difficulty keeping ANY of them in the air. Period. And you know what? It’s just OK. I am not sure why, but it is just OK.

I read a blog once from a lovely person who is really suffering with anxiety, illness, death of loved ones, mental illness, abandonment issues – made me offer up a genuine and sincere prayer for them. Sometimes it takes losing everything to find yourself. I have also dealt with the death of loved ones (one I was responsible for), depression (clinical depression, not just the blues), surgery, menopause, spousal infidelity, a defiant, oppositional, drug-taking child, and a number of other items including being in debt 35 thousand dollars for a doctoral degree that I cannot finish at the school where I started, due to their negligence (I have a perfect 4.0 GPA in the program with one class to finish), and I have very little recourse for that except to suck it up and to pay up.

But you know what? I am at peace within my own skin. I know damn well that I have done my best. I have worked like a dog. My conscience is clear. I am at peace within myself.

BTW- Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket???