A bit of a counterpart to the previous post. Fun column by Lucy Kellaway on stress. Good dose of reality beyond much of the piffle – many people enjoy busy, active and ‘stressful’ lives, even if they complain:
For a start, stress and living are not in conflict. If we didn’t feel some stress there would be no good reason to get out of bed in the morning. It is quite wrong to think about stress as the enemy. It is even more wrong to think about stress at all.
When I am feeling stressed, the very worst thing I can do is dwell on it. Even saying the word is bad. Indeed, the only reliable cure I’ve ever found is to spend 30 seconds with my husband. This always goes the same way: I moan about how stressed I’m feeling and he invariably replies, without looking up from his laptop: “What rubbish. You lead an interesting, busy life and you like it that way.”
On receipt of this put-down I always feel much better. I realise that I’m not stressed: I merely have a lot to do.
And if the problem is having too much on, the answer isn’t a massage – which is yet another thing to organise and arrive on time for – it is to drop some of the things I’m meant to be doing. The neighbour’s Christmas party, answering pointless emails and making mince pies can all be easily dispensed with.
As distinct from, of course, those life changing events – marriage, becoming a parent for the first time, serious illness, unemployment, divorce etc – where stress naturally increases until we adjust to our ‘new normal.’