Tuesday, April 26, 2011

ON FUN ~ Stress Fracture...

Image courtesy Maufdi via Flickr

At the age of 45, writer Regina Brett wrote a column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer listing 45 lessons that life had taught her thus far. As a breast cancer survivor, many of those lessons were learned the hard way. Five years later she added five more lessons rounding her list up to 50 and turned her popular list into a book called God Never Blinks. I found her list to be entertaining, inspiring and thought provoking. I thought I would go through each of her lessons learned and write about how that lesson has or has not come up in my own life, now that I am 40 and feel old enough to have finally learned something.

"Breathe. It calms the mind."
~ LESSON #47

I think that I handle stress pretty well. I certainly don't enjoy the process, but I know how to get through it. The other Bumble in these parts however? Not so much. Poor Andy does not do stress. He lets it eat him up. Create anxiety. Freeze his brain. He needs to breathe deep.

I have seen him practically fall apart over unexpected work crises until I thought maybe he should find a different career. It isn't like he works in the ER or anything (in fact, watching the show ER used to give him the willies). He works in construction which comes with constant changes and deadlines of its own. But seriously - the work he does is not structural to the point that a building could collapse and injure someone. We're just talking about renovations to retail stores here. Roofs leak, temps go MIA, inspections go awry. It happens. Daily. Deep breath.

But the worst is when he watches sports - hockey more than anything. I am convinced he will have a heart attack from minute to minute. He is stressed when the Bruins are behind and running out of time. He is stressed when the Bruins are ahead and time seems to go more slowly than possible. And when things are tied - in OT? Well, I don't even know why he watches at all. How is it enjoyable to be tight as a coiled spring for several hours straight? If not for all the yelling and gyrations he makes throughout the game, I'd wonder if he was over there holding his breath, forgetting to breathe at all.

Focusing on that deep breath instead of whatever panic has put those blinders on interrupts your brain for a minute. Long enough to take your mind off of the stress and on yourself instead. To notice how tight those muscles are. How fast your thoughts were racing, or not able to move at all. A deep breath allows you to take stock and punch that reset button. Clear thoughts, calm approach. Deep breaths are what you need - not hyperventilating over hockey.

6 comments:

Christy said...

I yell like a raving lunatic when I'm watching a basketball game. My husband swears it scares our dogs to death. It's not too tense of a sport until it gets down to the very end, and even then, not every game goes down to the wire. Maybe your hubby should switch sports (just kidding). :o)

Matty said...

Yep, as a diehard fan, I can totally understand. During regular season games, I'm fairly under control. However, when the playoffs roll around, and the deeper into the post season they get, the more wound up I get. I've been known to scream at the players on the TV, or the manager when he pulls a bonehead move. Mary doesn't deal with it very well and is likely to get up and leave the room.

Beth F said...

Sports may be the outlet to dissipate the work stress???? Deep breaths = a good idea.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I guess deep breaths are good in theory, but I have a hard time remembering to do it. I guess I think I am a relatively calm person, but back when I worked full time, my "calm" came out through ulcers, other stomach issues, my hair falling out, and other lovely things. That job would have eventually killed me. I don't go too crazy over sports (the worst being my son's football games, but I suffer silently for fear of embarrassing him).

Julie said...

Were Andy and I separated at birth? LOL. I admit I don't do stress either, and I react the same way when I'm watching the St.Louis Blues :)

stacybuckeye said...

Being in the same room with Jason during a Michigan State basketball game is usually a bad idea. Even when they are winning he is yelling at the tv. Shivers. I consider myself lucky that it's the only time he yells, but man, I rarely make it through a whole game with him.