How do you deal with stress?
It’s a common question. You get asked this question in a myriad of settings. It’s common in a job interview, in a meeting with your boss about managing touch situations, your friends ask you this when they are consumed with jealousy because you always just seem to blissfully out of the situation.
However, the answer is not so common. Depending on who you ask and when you ask, the answer could be one of a million things. My answer has certainly changed over the years… and thankfully it’s changed for the better. I used to deal with stress by breaking out into hives around 11PM at night. I first experienced this in elementary school (really, what was so stressful back then?). I was visiting my grandma in Arkansas and my flight back to the DFW area was cancelled on a Sunday evening. That would have put me back there Monday morning and GOD FORBID I be late to 5th grade class.
The next few times were throughout high school and college and usually a result of something pretty big being out of my control, much like my flying situation of 5th grade. Once I graduated from college and took on my first job, I learned to deal with stress in different ways. Mainly I learned to not let it get the best of me and send me home looking like I’ve had a serious allergic reaction to something.
As the years have passed, I’ve noticed that stress hasn’t been a problem for me… like… at all. Something someone mentioned to me this morning made me think about this. Where has the stress gone? Did someone take it? Did it go away? Why don’t I notice it anymore?
Now, don’t get my wrong, there are days that are completely off the charts with crazy and I’m left exhausted by 4PM, but I’m not stressed. Even when it seems like the 1800 people around me are going to revolt at any time because they didn’t line up early enough to get a seat to see Elie Weisel, I’m not stressed. What in the heck happened?
I’ve been called “the eye of the storm” by a few people at work. I can’t tell you how I do it. I can’t give you any breathing exercises to control the stress. Heck, I can’t even promise you that going home and watching trash tv at the end of the day will help control the stress.
I can only tell you that it doesn’t bother me at work like it used to.
Now, when I’m in the passenger seat of some people’s car, the stress level is through the roof. GIVE ME THE WHEEL, people, GIVE ME THE WHEEL.
And I refuse to say this is a control issue 🙂