MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “stress”

The quiet friend

©MCD_Bruno

He sat there quietly. Always on the same spot on the couch where she paused for a rest from her tiring and incessant schedule.

She lightened up every time she saw him. And when they hugged, she would inhale deeply letting out a faint sigh with that exhale.

He had a way of easing the tension she inexplicably carried on her shoulders. She burdened herself with too much stress for her own good. Even he could see it.

But it was enough for him that he made her smile. And that, even if just for a little while, she would let her troubles slip away from her mind. For those few seconds she could empty her head. She found comfort in him and was grateful for his presence.

Even if he didn’t say much. Or anything at all for that matter.

It would be a little strange if he did.

After all, he was just a fluffy teddy bear.

But the person who gifted it to her knew he was much more.

Sneaky Perils

©Sandra Crook

Sometimes a danger creeps up on you out of nowhere. You don’t see it coming. You don’t even hear it. But it’s there sneaking its way into your life, preparing to harm you.

If you don’t act, you won’t survive.

Be grateful for that small thing that revealed the peril. You can now fight it on your terms.

Breathe. Be thankful for each new day that comes. We fill our lives with too much anguish and only appreciate it when it is hurt.

Listen to that ebb and flow of the waves and be certain that this too shall pass.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Defusing agitation

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There are many ways to clear your head. To diminish the stress that is engulfing you and be able to breathe again a little deeper. They range from exercise, meditation, reading, writing, cooking, to spending time with friends, family and pets, even changing your house décor. But there is one thing that is underestimated in making you feel better: talking.

Keeping your thoughts and feelings locked up inside is like maintaining a time bomb inside a box and waiting for the timer to go off. The explosion will be massive. And it will hurt not just you but those around you too. That is why people suffering with depression and stress are also easily agitated and nervous. Their small and often outbursts are usually caused by the fact that they bury everything deep inside hoping they will simply dissolve. But this sooner or later diffuses into your physical system as well causing other problems.

Talking is underestimated. Because although it may not solve your problems, it is a way of defusing them. Of sharing your thoughts with someone who cares for you and understands. Someone who is there right when you need them. Someone who knows that when your rage overwhelms you the solution is not to leave you alone, but instead embrace you and hold you until calmness prevails. Someone who is willing to stand by you, to show you that you don’t have to carry your burdens alone. Someone with whom you don’t need to say much and who always knows just the right thing to say to soothe your pain and make you feel just a little bit better.

We should surround ourselves with people like that. Who when you wake up in a bad mood, won’t criticise you for it, but will tell you that every day gets better. Who prompts you to be grateful for what you have – your health and people who love you. Who gives you the encouragement you need to never let anyone get you down or make you feel like you’re not worth it. Because in the end, the only person whose opinion truly matters is your own.  

Trying to unwind

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How many times have you found yourself in a situation in which you are forced to hide your true feelings? It has happened to us all. Either because you don’t agree with the rest of the opinions expressed and don’t want to elaborate; either because the conversation bores you; or you dislike the people around you; or worse yet because you’re in pain and want to hide it.

It is not easy when you’re suffering to pretend everything is OK. But most of us do so on a daily basis.

From the millions of things roaming in our minds, we only express a couple of them, not even half of what we truly think.

As a result, we suppress everything else leading our body to suffer from the toxicity of unexpressed thoughts, feelings, opinions. This in turn results in psychosomatic symptoms – the tendency to experience psychological distress in the form of physical symptoms. These may include chest pain, fatigue, dizziness, headache, oedema, back pain, shortness of breath, insomnia, abdominal pain, numbness, impotence, weight loss, cough, and constipation. This demonstrates that our minds and body are interlinked, entwined to the extent that the one affects the other. Emotional disturbances are often translated into physical symptoms, mostly evident in the effects we experience when we’re stressed, upset, scared, excited.

We often seek treatments in fast remedies – usually painkillers. We are advised patience and above all relaxation and calm. But the latter seem almost impossible when you’re in pain. In reality, we need the courage to seek the source of the distress, so we can change what provokes it. Only then will we truly be able to unwind.

Prejudiced thieves

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Even for days before, Emma was suffering a panic attack. At the thought alone of what was to come, her breathing became faster, her stomach felt tied in a knot and she had an unbearable pain pounding on her chest. Her head felt almost too much to carry on her shoulders, and she was very often dizzy.

Stress was a bad companion.

More so when it was accompanied by prejudices.

We all carry them with us. Our own perspectives and beliefs on how things will be. They are shaped by past experiences, our mentality, our notions of reality, of what we’ve already seen and felt. We have an apt for predicting the future, for irrationally wanting it to pan out the way it’s forecast in our heads, so that we can pat ourselves on the back later on and confirm our worst fears, telling ourselves we were right. It is one of the paradoxes of human nature. Of wishing things don’t turn out to be the prejudice we have in mind, but of deeply hoping they do so we can verify ourselves.

The day before the event, Emma broke down. She couldn’t concentrate enough to do anything. The thoughts in her mind were too much to bear. She could almost hear a cacophony of voices trying to persuade her that whatever can go wrong will.

Jonathan found her on the couch, curled up as if willing the world to go away.

He touched her shoulder and she sprung upright, the tension having made her uptight.

You wouldn’t invite a thief into your house, so why do you allow thoughts in your head that steal your joy?” he asked.

If your prejudiced things will go wrong, and you adopt a negative attitude because of it, then things are bound to turn into what you fear. If it is true that we attract what we believe and feel, it is all the more important to maintain an open-mind and a positive attitude. Life may surprise us in the end.

Admitting to the problem

https://img.fotocommunity.com/sehnsucht-nach-meer-e5071e7c-1c5a-4ce7-88e1-8e87a1f6e2ce.jpg?height=400They say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. In fact, it is true that more people would learn from them mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying them. In the same light, in order to begin to find some peace of mind, we need to acknowledge that we have none.

In our modern age, being (too) busy is a problem. But the thing is, we think that it is a privilege, an asset, or even something to be proud of – we actually boast of being busy. Of not having time for anything, not even of living.

We have lost touch of the things that matter. Instead of talking to each other and trying to help one another, to learn from each other and mutually improve, we have become so competitive that what dominates our relationships is hypocrisy and shallowness.

What is more, we don’t know how to relax anymore. We have become so obsessed about constantly having something on our minds and in our hands that we turn into inexplicably nervous freaks when we are faced with “doing nothing”. Keeping calm is not a concept the modern world understands. Yet, we so love to cant about it everywhere, we have drawn numerous gifs and images and posters and anything you can imagine, that begin with “keep calm and…”.

Let’s face it. We have become a troublesome kind. We are so afraid of being left out of pretty much anything that we create trouble where there is none, do things we don’t really want to do, and adopt styles that don’t fit us simply because they are the current trend. In the process, we choose to follow the crowd than stand out in our own unique way. And, like everyone else, we criticise or adore whoever and whatever is ‘in fashion’ at the time.

We don’t think anymore. And that is perhaps the most pitiful and severe problem of us all.

The lure of a bookstore

https://s26162.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/bookstore-slide-2MCD-superJumbo.jpgFor Martia, walking into a bookstore was like walking into a magic realm. In the words of Jen Campbell, “you see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are simply put, the best of places”. In fact, she could hardly ever walk into a bookstore and not leave without buying something.

Martia’s life revolved around books. She loved reading, wrote a blog about books and worked as an editor in a publishing company. She lived and breathed books.

Yet, ironically, she could not find the words to describe how much she adored these tomes of paper. As environmentally-unfriendly they were, there was nothing like the smell that transpired when flicking the pages of a new book. Used books also held their secrets gripped within their pages. Because no one could read a book and remain the same person.

Martia had learned to appreciate even more people who read. Not on an electronic device, but the actual paper copy. Books, she said, made our minds sharper, life more exciting, they lift your spirits, lower your stress levels and make your heart more compassionate. Books always had something new to say. And there is a book on almost anything by almost anyone. What you should be careful to do is pick out the right copy – find the book that says something, in language worthy of the paper it is printed on, that makes you think and makes you want to change things.

“A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking” – Jerry Seinfeld

Counting life

http://aleurerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/shades-of-life-Aleurer-Blog.jpgWe wake up looking at the clock. By the time we open our eyes, we’re already stressed that we might be late for something. Before we even realise what day it is or even where we are, we begin counting to see if we have time.

We spend most of our day like this. Calculating. Looking at the clock. Stressing.

Our heads are filled with perceptions about what needs to be done at what time. The fact that we might be late as per our age for some things adds more stress. The same if we are early. It seems that either going too slow or too fast in life is always frowned upon. Everyone will always have something to say. That’s just the way human nature is.

But we all have our own rhythms. And that is the pace we should live by.

Like Einstein said “not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that is counted truly counts”.

Powerfully stated by Jay Shetty in this short video to watch when pressure is mounting, you need “to be able to create meaningful, purposeful, fulfilling lives for yourselves and learn how to use that to make an impact and a difference on the lives of others. That would be true success”.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what other people say or think. All that matters is how you are.

The wisdom of an organised life

https://steemit-production-imageproxy-upload.s3.amazonaws.com/DQmWXQaaicHc9eMbdSjyn1GpVZu6stEWPEHAtxT1Rnz7ouPSophie and Lisa were twins. But they could not be more different. Sophie was the person who liked to have things in order. To make a plan or a list and try to stick to each as much as possible. She set priorities, ambitions, targets, goals and was thrilled with always trying something new. She was the person who was bored at doing nothing. Lisa, on the other hand, was the exact opposite. If she could, she would sit doing nothing all day. Her motto was to go with the flow. She was completely disorganised, often forgetting things that needed to be done and leaving everything for the last minute.

The problem with the latter type of people is that they don’t have any stress. Actually, they are the ones who cause the former ones all sort of anxiety problems.

It usually works like this: when Sophie can’t organise her schedule because Lisa never knows what her programme is until the very last minute, it is Sophie who gets stressed, irritated, angered and who rushes to change things to accommodate the other’s recklessness.

But no matter how much Sophie complained and lectured over how organisation and planning is needed, Lisa never paid attention. She preferred to do it her way because it always worked out in the end. She never cared to acknowledge, however, that the reason things worked out was because Sophie made the necessary effort to make everything right.

It is a shame that it is the organised people who are the ones that keep the world spinning, yet the disorganised-laid-back ones are always getting all the credit.

“Science is organised knowledge. Wisdom is organised life” – Immanuel Kant

The de-stressing office objects

claire-sheldon

©Claire Sheldon

She had left it on his desk, next to a cup of pens and the small stuffed penguin he had won for her at the fair. It was a plastic cup overfilled with paperclips, which he found was useless. Simply a few would suffice, he kept telling her.

But she wouldn’t throw any away.

When she became too stressed or entered her over-thinking period, she would pour them out of the cup and lay them on the table, playing around with shapes and forms. It would de-stress her and time would pass, distracting her and calming her down. Simple. Vital.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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