Stress Levels

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told someone something, and they respond with, ‘Maybe you’re just stressed.’ I never know quite what to say to that.

One day, I figured it might actually be nice to know if I’m stressed or not. Since people keep asking and all.
I mean, have you ever stopped and studied how you handle things? It might be helpful in figuring out what the actual heck I am doing.

Upon further reflection, it would seem that I have two main levels of stress:
1) Surface Stress
2) Crippling Stress

Surface stress tends to come from circumstances. People were being people and it was taxing, or we didn’t do dishes yesterday and now there’s a mountain of them on the counter and S is at work and I have to do them all, or the wifi isn’t working when I need to do something important on the internet. Irritating things that can stack up together and make for an unpleasant day.

Usually this manifests itself in:
– muscle tension in my upper back, between my shoulder blades
– extreme sarcasm
– calling my mom to invite her to my pity party
– exhaustion
– binge-watching Netflix

This level of stress will usually melt away after:
– eating something delicious
– taking a nap
– engaging in a hobby
– a nice, hot shower
– S bringing me home flowers:


Crippling stress, on the other hand, seems to come from internal struggles. Bubble-changing, quitting my job, or handling a crisis can bring on that level of stress.

Usually this manifests itself in:
– feeling hungry all the time
– having trouble sleeping
– becoming one with the couch for hours without moving
– being very clingy to S, and driving him crazy
– muscle tension and pain in my lower back. I have scoliosis, which means my spine isn’t straight. I have wicked x-rays. Check it out:

20131208-203130.jpg(See the crazy curves in my back? Yeah, that’s where it hurts.)

The only thing I’ve found that helps with that level of stress is to take the time to acknowledge the stress, and seek perspective.
It’s okay to not know what to do, or which decision is best. Being a little lost sometimes is part of life.

Stress and how we handle it is really fascinating.
At least now I know whether that person is right or not when they say, “Maybe you’re just stressed.”

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