Let’s Talk about Stress

Cruella Devil

Stress is brutal.  In small doses, it can drive us ahead, but how often do we get the proper amount?  The longer I live, the more I meet people who are either unstressed to the point of being unmotivated and those who are on the verge of a collapse.  It’s like we aren’t able to truly relax any more because we’re either bombarded by negativity on social media or made to feel like resting is a sin by those around us.  Many times, I’ve wondered if my high stress levels are the only thing keeping me alive because I begin to freak out when I calm down and become highly aware of my pulse rate.  Not healthy at all and it only happens when I’m exhausted . . . So Thursdays.

Stress eventually becomes a way of life for people and that’s when mental issues stir.  It can plunge people into depression or lock them in a spiral of anxiety.  Outlets are searched for to relieve the pressure, but this can turn dark fast.  I use puzzles to help me relax, but I could have gone for alcohol or cigarettes or any number of harmful activities.  You just want a sense of peace while not knowing exactly how it feels.  Numbness can mimic it for a time, but the stress always comes back.  There’s not stopping it from returning if you aren’t in a comfortable life.  Bills, work, sleeping, exercising, diet, making time for family, politics, religion, family, pets, hobbies, dreams, unexpected expenses, setting the alarm, taxes, state of the world, and the list of stressors keeps going.  It’s different for everyone, but most have at least one thing that needles at them.

So, why am I talking bluntly and darkly about stress this week?  Because it’s really been my world for a long time.  This year started off bad with my writing goals getting crippled right out of the gate, trying to find a Masters program, and wondering what to do about the upcoming summer.  Turning 40 wasn’t a picnic since my birthday was the second night of Passover.  As you can see, if it’s not one thing going wrong then it’s another.  The stress continues to build and no amount of positive messages can really clear it.  You end up hitting a point where you feel like this is what your life is because every step forward is met by a violent shove back.  You’re not even treading water, but gradually drowning and seeing no hint of land being around.  It’s frustrating and demoralizing.

Outsiders always look at a person being stressed and assume they know exactly how to cure them.  It rarely works.  Most only get a general idea of the situation and then become a cheerleader with no sense of the depth.  This can actually increase the stress of a person because now they feel like they aren’t being listened to.  Not entirely.  We live in such a brutal world that it’s easier to increase a person’s stress than reduce it.  Most people have only a small circle of those that can defuse them, which is not always those they spend the most time with.  This whole thing is why I think mental health days are important, but god forbid we take one and then get sick.  That or you fear that your boss will find out or you need a doctor’s note in the first place.  Let’s be honest.  Our society doesn’t really give a shit about the mental stability and health of its citizens.  Stress is a big problem and nothing is ever done to make life easier across the board.

Anyway, what do you think about stress?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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35 Responses to Let’s Talk about Stress

  1. I think I’m under way too much of it right now, and we could all do with returning to a time when we were allowed to have some quiet time to de-stress without needing to forcefully carve it out and then feel guilty for it afterwards.

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  2. I agree with you, Charles. Our modern life has resulted in untenable levels of stress for people to just keep their heads above water. Our children are hugely stressed too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on adaratrosclair and commented:
    At this time, all I have to say is “stress sucks”. It may be inelegant, but it’s the truth. Especially after reading these annoying and unhelpful quotes about stress: “You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway” and “It’s not stress that kills us, it’s our reaction to it.” Oh puh-leeeze do shut up! Thank you, Charles, for telling it like it is!

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    • Thanks for sharing. I really hate that ‘You were never in control anyway’ quote. I mean, how is that supposed to help? That makes me feel even worse because it means I’m nothing more than a pawn and those get sacrificed all the time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My pleasure. I concur. I’d like to find whoever is in control and flick them on the nose (provided the controller has one). 🙂 For starters . . .
        I try to alleviate stress by gaining some sense of control. Whether by cleaning, writing, editing, reading, or even making a list of things I intend to do. It’s not always successful, but one must always have the option to try.

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      • Control is a big thing that I usually don’t feel like I have. Far too many times, I get undone by the actions of someone else. Put time aside for writing? Power outage or a family event happens. Want to sleep in? Phone keeps going on. It’s ridiculous how often I’m undermined at the worst time, which stresses me out. This is probably why I suffer from really bad anxiety. At least I don’t have attacks as often as I used to.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can relate. Interruption is certainly a creativity killer. 😦 If it’s any consolation, I appreciate you sharing your experiences.

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      • Thanks. Glad to show it happens to everyone.

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  4. L. Marie says:

    “Outsiders always look at a person being stressed and assume they know exactly how to cure them. It rarely works. Most only get a general idea of the situation and then become a cheerleader with no sense of the depth. ” Sooooooooooo true! It’s like saying, “Get over it” or some other pat answer.

    Well said.

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  5. ospreyshire says:

    I hear you about stress. Been dealing with that for most of my life. Unfortunately, some of it came out in a depressing post on my main blog today when I vented out a lot of my frustrations when it came to careers or professions I wanted to have, but been either disillusioned and/or bullied out of pursuing them. I’ve been so angry at myself for not being good enough with everything I do no matter how hard or smart I work.

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    • Been there myself. People really default to dissuading others to pursue paths. It’s hard enough taking a risk, but the stress over doing it alone can be crushing. Venting is a good release at times.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        I’m glad you can relate. It really was frustrating trying to achieve some dreams only to fall flat on my face. I wish I could’ve had some kind of job or life that made me so successful that I could’ve rubbed it in the faces of those who bullied me. I just had to get that out there in a post today.

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      • I’m with you. Wish that every day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        I thought I was the only one who thought that way. It’s good to know I’m not alone in those feelings.

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      • I’ve learned that’s it’s more common than we realize. Just that some take their frustration out by continuing the cycle on others.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        Is that so? I have never bullied anyone out of not enacting on their dreams, so maybe I should’ve counteracted with that back then when others tried to shame me for my interests. Then again, insulting people and breaking the self-esteem of others is really hard for me even now. I wished all of this never happened nor with me being tempted to try that.

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      • I’ve had more people talk me out of things than being supportive. Some were more underhanded. They’d sabotage me while being both supportive and complaining that I was making a mistake. I don’t know what I’d wish for in the end. Trying to think that everything happens for a reason, but that’s tough to do.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        Come to think of it, I’ve had my fair share of people doing that, too. I certainly knew about underhanded people that would smile in my face and stab me in the back. I’ve never sabotaged anyone in my life which I’m proud of, but maybe I should’ve dug deeper to find some kind of way to make them all feel worthless as payback for causing me to feel that way. Can’t you tell I have a lot of bitterness?

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      • Revenge does always sound nice. I never had the knack for it though. Preferred to walk away and hope karma gets involved. With any luck, karma goes for the other person and not me. Damn thing tends to be drunk and gives me a double of pain.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire says:

        Same here. Part of it comes from not coming up with any good ideas for revenge then. I do wish karma were to make those people who hurt me suffer, but if that happened, then I didn’t ever see it.

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  6. One thing I’ve learned from teaching is to identify the border between what I’m responsible for/in control of, and what is not my responsibility. And I’ve had to let go of the things that aren’t in my control. With this coronavirus, there’s a lot that isn’t mine to control. I’m like a surfer riding the waves of what other people decide.

    I hope you are able to find someone who can just listen to your problems without judging or trying to fix them for you.

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    • The hard part is that there’s a lot we think we control and don’t. Then there’s stuff we can control, but don’t realize. We have those who push stress on us too.

      I have a few people I can talk to. Not much these days due to texting not begin a great medium.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have no suggestions and admit to suffering from stress myself. It was there before COVID and will be there after. Some times it is debilitating and I can see physical symptoms. I just don’t know what to do about it.

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  8. This was a great read! In my opinion, COVID-19 added another layer of stress to the many things you already discussed.

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