I’m supposed to write a post for Robert Hruzek’s group writing project. And the theme is “What I learned from stress.”
And I just know that he wants something about how stress helps us find out what we really believe rather than what we say we believe.
Or that stress in life is like the accent in a word…it changes the meaning and helps us understand. (content and content, for example).
Or that stress is a refining process.
But I’m not sure I’ve learned those things from stress.
Here’s what I have discovered, however about stress. I would say learned, but I haven’t learned these because I all too frequently act as if they are brand new:
- Stress fractures. I am more cranky then usual when stretched. And there is greater likelihood of thoughtless comments, of raised (or lowered) voices, of (more than usual) stupid words uttered. (In fact, I’m feeling cranky now. hmm.)
- Stress causes (adrenaline) addictions. I have this odd belief that I write better under pressure. It goes way back. As a result, I think I might almost intentionally put things off so I can get the rush.
- Stress, relieved, leads to migraines. You’ve read about my migraines before if you have been reading this blog. After unusually busy times with poor sleep and poor rest and poor silence and poor balance, my head explodes. Often not in the middle of the chaos, but when there is a moment of stopping. (They used to come on my day off. So I tried not taking one. But that wasn’t particularly helpful.)
- Stress, good or bad, wears.
- Stress causes candy corn. Or maybe it just leads to candy corn. Or coffee. Or donuts. Or whatever is around. (Oddly, it hardly ever leads to carrots.)
- Stress is. Can’t avoid it, it’s not life without it. And it’s existence can’t be denied.
- Stress is often a result of choices. When I decided to finish this post in a little window of time which suddenly took longer than I planned and means that I am now almost late to the next event, my choice increased the tension in my chest and the sense of needing to rush and the beginning of the excuse-generating mechanism and….i gotta go. I’ll be back later.
[3.5 hours later, after discovering that the event was at 7:00am not 7:30am]
- Stress acknowledged and reflected on and managed and released teaches. Stress unexamined or examined trains. Training builds habits. Teaching builds understanding. (I know, oversimplified, optimistic. Deal with it.) We may learn nothing from the stress in our lives and our reactions to it and to other people. However, stress can train us…to avoid certain people, to pursue certain activities, to live in fear.
Now, go read the rest of the posts that Robert will link to. They will tell you all the good stuff that people have learned from stress. I’ll just sit here and relax. And eat candy corn.