Sunday, April 2, 2017

What does your Stress Sheet say?

I recently attended a workshop where this quote was truly brought to life. The topic was on Stress, and how much we were dealing with. We were each handed a sheet of paper with possible incidents we might have experienced during the current year. The big ones, death of a loved one, losing a job, health worries etc, you get the idea, were listed there just like all our other daily worries.

What does your Stress Sheet say? Vancouver, BC

We were asked to complete our Stress Sheet with a numeric acknowledgement of all the factors we had experienced. The instructor then asked for a show of hands as to how many people had a total of under 100, 200 and so on. The Stress “Winner” (or Loser, depending on your perspective) had a whopping total of 600.

What you might be curious to know is that we were not told how much weight to put with each of our stressors. In other words, having an unemployed spouse might have been given a number 10 by someone and a 100 by someone else.

We each have had horrible years, we often celebrate at the end of a year purely for the idea that next year just couldn’t be that bad (again). Sometimes, we’ve had a string of these high stressed years, and yes, they can take their toll on our physical and mental wellness.

Completing the form that day, made me question how we each choose a number for the burden we are carrying. Do the Zen-like only attach smaller numbers, do the chronic victimizers choose only 3-digit numbers. How do we decide how BIG our stress is?

The Stress Loser in our workshop, seemed quite cheerful with her winning number. Was she so used to this amount of Stress that she did not allow it to effect her? Was she winning at the contest of being overwhelmed? Did she receive any support from those closest to her? Was she surviving?

I will never know. Most of us are not in a position to take on someone else’s “stuff”, whether it is self-imposed or a deposit from Fate. All we can do is be aware that the person sitting beside us has a Stress sheet and that their numbers could be higher than ours.

In case you are wondering, my number was below 100. It has been a good year, in fact, a good many years which I am grateful for. And I can only hope that the self-care, yoga, meditation and daily reflection will support me when I need them next.

What do you do to control your Stress? (Click to Tweet)

Take care of yourself, ask someone for help if you need it.

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