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Stress

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:06pm

 

I know I’m posting a lot at the moment.  I don’t really know why that is, but it’s sort of keeping me sane.  For now.  I’m feeling a lot of feelings and they are all vying for attention and clogging up my head, rather like a classroom of attention-seeking five-year-olds.  Without the cute factor.

I’m mentally drained again.  CFS group today.  I was in two minds about going but decided to bite the bullet and turn up, all be it half an hour late.  Tardy is better than a no-show, right?

I am now in the post-exertion phase where I know I’ve gone ‘over’ in terms of what my mind and body comfortably wanted me to do today.  Here’s the thing, though – if I miss my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome group I will be less tired, but if I don’t attend then how will I ever get better?  So, it’s a short-term pain for long-term gain trade off, as with many things in life.  I’m not meaning it in a bitter way; I don’t mind as long as I don’t end up suffering for more than 24 hours.  Guess I’ll let you know in 24 hours if I’m bitter, then ;)

Today’s topic was Stress. It seems like any condition management program involves a session on stress, whatever the illness might be.  In my case, handling stress could just as easily apply to my depression/anxiety spells as it could to the CFS.  In fact, I’ve been in the business for so long now that I almost know what is going to come out of the group leader’s mouth before they do.  The basics of stress and its management are themes as familiar to me as my old shabby dressing gown.  So, perhaps not the most novel session, but that’s fine by me as it takes less concentration.

I have made it sound like I know all there is to know about stress-reduction in that prior paragraph.  I do know a lot of theory.  The bitch of it is that the gap between the theory and the practice is bloody huge.  I personally find that the stresses of life are very difficult to anticipate and/or react to.  It’s partly because what triggers my body’s stress response is not going to remain the same one year to the next.  I mean, with anxiety, for instance, I can have months where I don’t feel unnaturally anxious because the anxiety is in remission or whatever.  Then, if I have a depression or anxiety flare up, perhaps nudged on by a life problem, like relationship breakdown, financial worries etc, well then my stressors are ridiculously small things, like having to brush my teeth, worrying about driving, worrying about other people driving, the list goes on…

So I find stress a hard one to control because the nature of my triggers will change.  It’s also tricky because of the commitment required to practice your relaxation/breathing exercises very regularly.  Nearly all group sessions on stress have focused on the need to develop relaxation as a skill, one which needs constant attending to, just like you have to keep up a physical exercise habit to stay fit.

I am moaning a bit, aren’t I?  Yeah.  Okay, well the plus side is this.  I have found relief through some of the suggestions over the years.  My favourite stress-reduction methods are body scan meditations, breathing meditations, exercise, sleep, distraction, wine (oops, that must have accidentally slipped in there), buying stuff, films and T.V., writing, and there’s probably other things I’ve missed out.  The point is that stress is very individual and I could never imagine using only one method to keep it from overwhelming me.  I missed out CBT-style talking yourself down and yoga.  See, I knew there would be loads of things I’d missed out.  Chocolate.

 

I know I’m posting a lot at the moment.  I don’t really know why that is, but it’s sort of keeping me sane.  For now.  I’m feeling a lot of feelings and they are all vying for attention and clogging up my head, rather like a classroom of attention-seeking five-year-olds.  Without the cute factor.

I’m mentally drained again.  CFS group today.  I was in two minds about going but decided to bite the bullet and turn up, all be it half an hour late.  Tardy is better than a no-show, right?

I am now in the post-exertion phase where I know I’ve gone ‘over’ in terms of what my mind and body comfortably wanted me to do today.  Here’s the thing, though – if I miss my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome group I will be less tired, but if I don’t attend then how will I ever get better?  So, it’s a short-term pain for long-term gain trade off, as with many things in life.  I’m not meaning it in a bitter way; I don’t mind as long as I don’t end up suffering for more than 24 hours.  Guess I’ll let you know in 24 hours if I’m bitter, then ;)

Today’s topic was Stress. It seems like any condition management program involves a session on stress, whatever the illness might be.  In my case, handling stress could just as easily apply to my depression/anxiety spells as it could to the CFS.  In fact, I’ve been in the business for so long now that I almost know what is going to come out of the group leader’s mouth before they do.  The basics of stress and its management are themes as familiar to me as my old shabby dressing gown.  So, perhaps not the most novel session, but that’s fine by me as it takes less concentration.

I have made it sound like I know all there is to know about stress-reduction in that prior paragraph.  I do know a lot of theory.  The bitch of it is that the gap between the theory and the practice is bloody huge.  I personally find that the stresses of life are very difficult to anticipate and/or react to.  It’s partly because what triggers my body’s stress response is not going to remain the same one year to the next.  I mean, with anxiety, for instance, I can have months where I don’t feel unnaturally anxious because the anxiety is in remission or whatever.  Then, if I have a depression or anxiety flare up, perhaps nudged on by a life problem, like relationship breakdown, financial worries etc, well then my stressors are ridiculously small things, like having to brush my teeth, worrying about driving, worrying about other people driving, the list goes on…

So I find stress a hard one to control because the nature of my triggers will change.  It’s also tricky because of the commitment required to practice your relaxation/breathing exercises very regularly.  Nearly all group sessions on stress have focused on the need to develop relaxation as a skill, one which needs constant attending to, just like you have to keep up a physical exercise habit to stay fit.

I am moaning a bit, aren’t I?  Yeah.  Okay, well the plus side is this.  I have found relief through some of the suggestions over the years.  My favourite stress-reduction methods are body scan meditations, breathing meditations, exercise, sleep, distraction, wine (oops, that must have accidentally slipped in there), buying stuff, films and T.V., writing, and there’s probably other things I’ve missed out.  The point is that stress is very individual and I could never imagine using only one method to keep it from overwhelming me.  I missed out CBT-style talking yourself down and yoga.  See, I knew there would be loads of things I’d missed out.  Chocolate.

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