The Joy of Stress?

Posted: September 29, 2013 in Writing
Tags: , ,

Here we sit a month into a new school year, and for me a new writing year, and I have to say that I am feeling a bit stressed. There are quite a few items that I have put on my plate this year and it is starting to feel a bit daunting. I am also looking forward to the challenges that it brings. It seems to me that I actually enjoy stress, a little.

I actually seem to seek out situations that will bring this feeling forward in my body. It is why I write on top of my other job. It is why I also play in a band and go to every one of my son’s football practices. Okay I missed one, but it was only because I had to be at the Open House for my school that I work at.

Let me clarify something. When I say stress I am not referring to that overwhelming feeling that freezes us in place or makes us want to go and cause some unheard of tragedy. I am talking about that feeling that even experienced orators get before a big speech, or that a sports icon gets before the final game. If Kobe Bryant and Winston Churchill were asked about the feeling in their bodies before those moments they would describe this slightly tingling, almost tickling sensation in their joints, a feeling ever so close to elation in their hearts, and a soft glow surrounding their vision as they focused in on the job to be done. Physiologically this is being triggered by the increase in adrenalin flowing through our blood. Our body is entering fight or flight mode. Only this is not caused by surprise and fear but by anticipation and knowing. When you know you are about to do something and you want it to epic, even if only in your mind, you tend to take the time to get it right. This preparation alleviates the fear, but not the adrenalin, not the stress of the situation. It is an almost euphoric sensation that you don’t want to end, but you know it will so you seek it out again and again. We all have situations that bring this out in us and often go to seek it.

I will caution you, however, not to let your search of this feeling to lead you astray. You do not want to put yourself in a situation where that small feeling grows into unimagined torment. Think of a chocolate lover going to the Chocolate Factory and eating until they couldn’t eat anymore. They may enjoy it at first, but near the end they will almost assuredly have a stomach ache, or worse, a hatred of chocolate. If you put so many situations in your life that give you this exhilarated feeling that you are constantly creating the adrenalin and endorphins associated it can make you sick. You liver and kidneys can become taxed with removing the chemicals from your body. Your stomach can have trouble digesting food because when you are in fight/flight mode you are not in digesting mode. Don’t allow those things you love to make you sick. Enjoy them in appropriate doses and ease off when you feel yourself feeling truly STRESSED.

I am off for the day to do something that will be enjoyable and maybe a little stressful, but just a little.

  1. jmcmurray says:

    Any thoughts from all of you would be enjoyed greatly.

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