I’ve mentioned how stressful the fall has been. Know what happens when I get stressed?
First is my back-shoulders-neck-head. Mostly shoulders-neck-head. Tension-soreness-headaches-migraines happen to my shoulders-neck-head. It can get bad, where I need to consciously lie on back at night (normally, I’m a side sleeper, curled into a fetal position), take too much tension headache medicine, be in a darkened quiet room, etc.
Second is my stomach. Polite way of saying I need to run to the bathroom every two seconds. Again, not fun, but uncontrollable, and a sure sign that something (or someone) has me stressed out.
Third, I begin to shake. Somewhere between a shiver and a quake. Deep breaths help, but again, it’s uncontrollable.
All the while, I worry it, shake it like a rag doll in my brain. In other words, I get a bit obsessive about whatever or whoever it is in my brain, and I can’t let go. Probably one of the reasons, “Don’t worry about it,” sounds just as awful as nails on a chalkboard to me. It’s just not even practical, not even a realistic goal. Shut up.
Why do I know this much about how stress affects me physically? Because I was a teacher for over 17 years. No, that was not a sarcastic answer. It’s the truth. And I’ve paid attention to my own body.
What helps alleviate some of these? Regular yoga (oops, need to get back on that wagon, too). Me-time. Deep breathing (goes along with the yoga). A massage now and then. Reading (to some extent). Being able to vent to someone about my source of stress (but not too much, because that can get me ramped up again). And a realization that This Too Shall Pass. I forget that a lot. Maybe I should get it tattooed somewhere I’ll see it all the time.
What does stress do to you? What do you do to alleviate it?
I try to go out with a friend or someone that isn’t directly involved with the source of my stress. Then we talk about other things and get my mind off the stress. Usually helps to clean the slate a bit so I can rework whatever the issue is.