A Bringer of New Things

I want to learn all I can, live as wisely as I can, and savor every moment on the journey.

Waging War on My Stress

Stress is like a corsette I don’t know I’m wearing, all the while wondering why I can’t breathe and when I’ll feel better.

But more and more lately I am realizing that I’m wearing it. It almost seems like a habit for me to feel stressed, like it’s my default state, even when there are no obvious triggers. If nothing else, my mental to-do list keeps me working. My ambition and drivenness help me get a lot done—things that make me feel fulfilled and happy—but I am forever hopping the line between happy productivity and unhealthy stress.

I’ve got to learn how to relax, let things go, tune out, and loosen up. Drugs and alcohol aren’t my solution for several reasons, including the obvious ones. Changing my life situation to remove my main stressor, my job, is a potential solution, but it’s not as simple as just quitting and finding a new job, though I am trying to move in a direction that will be good for me. My husband is a stress-reducer for me—it’s hard to feel stressed when he’s making me laugh. And I’m trying to create a lifestyle of relaxation for myself in lots of small ways, which I’ve written about here abundantly and perhaps redundantly (if so, sorry!):

And I’m sure I’ll keep adding new ways. Right now I’m experimenting with eliminating caffeine, for example.

So, I’m waging a war on my stress, attacking it from a variety of angles, and I’m crusading for relaxation in my mind (see? I can’t take problems lightly!). Neck and shoulder muscles that actually feel like muscles, not rocks, is one goal, along with the obvious goal of living a happier and healthier life.

Another goal: I think I’m not the only one with chronic stress—it appears to be a national epidemic—so I want to be the change I wish to see!

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10 comments on “Waging War on My Stress

  1. emilievardaman
    July 14, 2014

    I have had a problem with stress for most of my adult life. I have worked to reduce the stressors and have been pretty successful. My ya life has become considerably better.
    But I have one thought for you. Clearly, you are a word person, and words can have consequences. When we wage a war, we build up the stressors. Think of war – preparation, money, bombs, bullets, death. And the war on drugs has sent ripples of violence throughout this country, Mexico, and all points south.
    So consider the word war. Does the word alone create some stress in you? Is there another phrase, one more relaxing and calming, that you could use?
    Much, much luck in this endeavor, and don’t forget to get a good massage now and again!

    Like

    • Sarrah J. Woods
      July 14, 2014

      Emilie, thanks for commenting. You’re right about the “war” thing—I was intending that to be an ironic title, to show how amped-up I get. I’m not really calling it that in my daily life. I’m glad you have found success with de-stressing your life.

      Like

  2. sophiebrexx
    July 14, 2014

    I have anxiety and CANNOT have coffee. One cup of coffee makes me feeling more anxious and jittery. Also, loved your post. I also have a blog, check me out: http://sophiebrexx.wordpress.com/

    Like

    • Sarrah J. Woods
      July 14, 2014

      Thanks for commenting, Sophie. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who reacts to caffeine so strongly. I’ve always known that I’m more sensitive to it than most people, but I didn’t think to try cutting it out of my diet entirely until last month. I can’t believe it took me so long to realize how much caffeine was contributing to my stress and anxiety!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. emilievardaman
    July 14, 2014

    Serendipity: Just heard one of a series on stress on NPR. Worth the listen. Today’s focus was food, and here’s a quick summary: The foods we are drawn to when stressed (pasta, bread, sweets, etc – all our “comfort foods”) actually end up creating MORE stress in us. Pretty twisted that what we crave is what is worst for us.

    Like

  4. valeriestefani
    July 14, 2014

    Hello! I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award on my blog. Congratulations! Here are the details!
    http://wp.me/p4Nl9w-F

    -Valerie

    Like

    • Sarrah J. Woods
      July 15, 2014

      Valerie, thank you so much!! I am honored! I will post the response post soon.

      I like your blog and look forward to reading your earlier posts when I have a chance.

      Cheers!

      Like

  5. georgetteann
    July 14, 2014

    I had a period from my late 20s to early 30s where I was constantly stressed. Of course, I had 4 small children, but I am a perfectionist by nature. The inability to be 100% in every area of my life brought me considerable anxiety. Thankfully, I have learned to let go of some things and am much happier. I hope you find your happy medium, too!

    Like

    • Sarrah J. Woods
      July 15, 2014

      Thank you, Georgette Ann. I think I’m getting there slowly but surely. For me, half the battle is usually just seeing the magnitude of the problem, so hopefully I’m halfway there already.

      My husband and I are still thinking about whether we’ll try to have kids someday (we’ll probably be thinking about for a few more years still)…that would definitely bring a whole new kind of stress to my life. If we do, I would like to have a better handle on self-care and de-stressing before having kids, that’s for sure!

      Like

      • georgetteann
        July 15, 2014

        Just keep plugging along. It will all work itself out the way it’s supposed to be. Don’t stress over things you can’t control! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on July 14, 2014 by in Discoveries from Living and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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