Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Stress

I've decided that I don't actually cope with stress very well. In fact, I think I've decided that I'm actually pretty bad at it—I thought I was good at it, but now I realize I'm not. What I'm good at is avoiding and preventing stress. This works almost all of the time for me, but when I do get stressed out, I don't really have the practice to deal with it very effectively; I just can't handle it. I just have to stop what I'm doing, let my mind rest, and then try to make do. I have to relieve the stress, rather than dealing with it. I don't know... maybe that's healthy, maybe it's not.

I don't really know how I got to a point where I can just avoid stress and anger. I just consciously worked toward that for a while, and now I can control myself. My parents have fairly short fuses, and I used to too. Now I don't. I didn't listen to any subliminal tapes or anything. I just tried to act more deliberately and less instinctively. When I was younger, I'd get angry at everything. I'd get angry at computer games, I'd get angry when I tripped over something, and heck, I'd get angry if something just didn't go the way I was expecting. I finally realized, maybe around the beginning of high school or so, that I didn't like it, and that it wasn't productive. So I just decided to stop letting things make me angry.

I could probably write a book about it and make some money. Perhaps I could convincingly tell people that all they needed to do for lifelong bliss is want it. Really want it. Fill it up with a couple hundred pages of BS, and I've got myself a bestseller. But anyway, it's been pretty effective. I don't just get angry and bottle it up inside, I actually just don't get angry anymore. When I broke my Segway handlebars a month-ish ago, I knew immediately I had just lost five hundred bucks or close to it, but it just didn't bother me. I instantly reassured myself that it had happened, and I couldn't make it un-happen by becoming angry about it. I accepted it and moved on all over the course of about three seconds.

It's certainly possible that this will lead to a total mental and emotional breakdown at some point. But, so far, it seems that I can either be angry at everything, or I can choose to just accept the things I can't change and get on with life. And that seems to be a far preferable strategy.

2 comments:

Louise said...

I must say that is one of your abilities that I really admire. Everything just slides off you. It's something I am really starting to realize that I need to learn. I don't get angry (annoyed yes - outright angry...not so often), but I do tend to let little things bother me and nag at me. And you don't even want to see me when I am stressed. I just haven't figured out how how to not let things bother me :(

Andy said...

Serenity now, insanity later.