Normal Or Abnormal –  Dealing With Stress Effectively


Normal Or Abnormal – Dealing With Stress Effectively

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Plain and simple, we never learned much about dealing with stress effectively. In our house, you had to hide your stress. If you had stress, it meant that you were weak or that you weren’t following God in the way you should.

Stress is everywhere and unless we deal with it, it will deal with us.  You might think that you can get away with not addressing it, but sooner or later it will catch up with you.  Mark my words because it is true.

Dealing with stress effectively is important to life and living as a human in a human body. Blaming it on your weaknesses or whatever belief system you have is not helpful in dealing with stress effectively.

Dealing With Stress Effectively Was Not Taught

Growing up, stress was an affliction you brought on yourself and something you had to deal with in life. No one told you or taught you what you needed to know about dealing with stress effectively. 

Granted stress hits each person differently and in many ways we do bring it on through what we do.  Yet that is too simplistic, because outside situations can and do put stress upon us.  I know there are plenty of platitudes that suggest it doesn’t, but it is not living a life of reality to think that way.

My Parents Didn’t Know How To Manage Stress

Neither of my parents knew how to manage stress so it showed up in them through back issues and migraine headaches.

It seemed as if every time there was a major holiday or some other stressful moment, my parents would go through severe back issues and end up in the hospital.  If it wasn’t that, they would have migraines so bad that the holidays would be ruined. 

It never ceased to amaze me as a kid when this happened. 

Of course, a million different things would be blamed for these physical conditions, but at no point did anyone stop to consider how dealing with stress effectively would help their lives.  I do understand how horrible migraines and back pain are because I used to suffer from these constantly.  It wasn’t until I started working on the stress my body was under that I stopped getting migraine headaches and back pain.

I Was Bad At Dealing With Stress Effectively

When I was in grade school I had what the doctor called “inflammation in my chest,” and he said it was from stress. I was doing too much and not relaxing or resting enough. Unfortunately, outside of the two weeks I was supposed to take it easy, no one tried to help me learn how to deal with stress. My house was stressful. My life was stressful. There was nothing else but stress.

In high school, I had a nervous stomach /pre-ulcer. Little did I know that hearing my parents complain about my two brothers constantly and treating me as their therapist was destroying me inside. I had no outlet for it and the stress put me in the hospital.

When I got out of the hospital in 1991, a teacher I was close to told me I needed to learn how to deal with stress. I asked them how I did this and got told the serenity prayer and other platitudes.  No one could really tell me or help me understand what it meant to deal with stress effectively.

Of course, the stress and not being able to deal with it built up until I was paralyzed with a conversion disorder. See my book, Overcoming A Mysterious Condition for more.

Stress Was A Bad Word In My House

Stress was a bad word in my house. We didn’t talk about it and no one knew how to deal with it. Sometimes when the stress got too bad, my dad and mom would get into a fight. He would storm off into the night, coming back long after I went to bed. My guess is that he would go to the town bar and drink.

We were taught that if you read your bible, went to church, and believed in Jesus, all stress would be gone. Unfortunately, though many people want to believe this, it is not true.

All humans have stress and learning how to let it go is what is important. For many, though, we weren’t taught a healthy way of dealing with stress effectively and so we carry on what we were taught into our adult lives.

Stress Is Not A Weakness

Stress is not a weakness in who you are as a person.  It is a biological impact on the body.  However, the more we learn about dealing with stress effectively, the more freedom in life we will have.  For some, it is a lifelong process and for others, it is life-changing. 

Bodywork and other therapies can help increase the elasticity in the nervous system.  These things can help us dump stress and thereby free up the closets of our lives so that stress has a place to go until we are better at dealing with it effectively. 

If we just sit by and chastise ourselves for having stress in our lives, then we’ve done nothing but subject the mind and body to a lifetime of pain and suffering.  It is in dealing with stress and learning how to let go of it that we find a greater freedom and peace in our lives.

BLOG SERIES: Normal Or Abnormal

Part 1: List Of Unbelievable Experiences

Part 2: Emotion, Hugs, Affection

Part 3: Father Was In Poor Health

Part 4: Boundary And Privacy Issues

Part 5: Sabotaging Self-Care

Part 6: Dealing With Stress Effectively

Part 7: Agonizing Pet Abuse

Part 8: Psychological Control And Isolation

Part 9: Explosive Rage & Domestic Violence

Part 10: Sexual Abuse Is Devastating

Photo Credit: Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash