Friday Five: Stress-Busting Edition

Sally from RevGals writes:
I am off to spend a few days at the beach chilling out after a hectic few weeks and before I head off for Summer School… So with that in mind this weeks questions are looking at how you deal with the stress monster!!!???

1. First, and before we start busting stress, what causes you the most stress, is it big things or the small stuff ?
It is actually the cumulation of a whole lotta “stuff” that I either know I have to do or think I have to do. And I am learning how to say “this is not my problem… this is not my problem…” and allow the person who is dropping the ball learn how to cover for themselves. It is very hard to do for a compassion-mercy-people-person, but I am improving.

2. Exercise or chocolate for stress busting ( or maybe something else) ?
There is nothing else… Peanut M&Ms do it every time. And then of course, I am stressed because I ate all that chocolate and depressed that I didn’t exercise. It’s not a healthy pattern.

3.What is your favorite music
to chill out to?
Pat Metheny, hands down. He’s a great guitarist (jazz) and the music just floats you someplace else. I also like the stuff he did with Lyle Mays. I got introduced to his music many years ago by friends in grad. school… (Hat tip to Billy and Reed!) …and he has remained among my favorites…

4. Where do you go to chill?
Well, from now on, when I need to think of a “happy place” when I am relaxing or meditating, I will definitely take a trip
here… but most of the time, when I am majorly stressed out, I retreat to either our patio where I have wind chimes and a water feature (in the warmer weather), or to my piano to bang out some frustrations…

5. Extrovert or introvert, do you relax at a party, or do you prefer a solitary walk?
With people I trust. Not people who pluck my last nerve. Sometimes it means getting lost in a crowd, but more often than not, it’s with a group that energize me, and are folks I can give back to in some way. I usually need to be with people though, because part of my stress is caused from being isolated while studying/writing for seminary.

Bonus- share your favorite stress busting tip!
Humor! Jokes! Laughing helps immensely. My fave stress test uses the picture at the start of this post…

Diagnostic Stress Test

The dolphins (at the top of this post) appear to be nearly identical when viewed by stress-free individuals. The test is not sufficiently accurate to detect mild stress differentials, but is very accurate on individuals with higher stress-levels. Deviations in appearance between the two dolphins are indicators of potential stress-related problems and the deviations, if any, may also indicate the source of stress. Based on the results of this test, if you experience significant deviations, you may want to consider taking things a little easier…

And hey, if none of these work, I am going to go looking for Mindy’s cows… they are good listeners!


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