Thursday, 21 June 2012

Getting Stressed?

When searching for "causes of stress" and checking the results a few keywords pop up over and over again. I do realise I've got a reason or two for being stressed, because the keywords listed are quite relevant to me.

Health
Injuries or failing health is listed as an very important source for stress. I've always been very satisfied being fit and healthy and has never worried too much about health. OK, I did get an ACL injury in 2007, but it was not that serious and it went very well. However this did change last year. Then I got myself a surprise as it was established that I had a condition people at my age very seldom get. The condition needs to be taken serious, but there are a lot of far worse thing to get out there.

A few weeks later I discovered that my right pupil was bigger (or was it smaller, can't remember in the moment of writing) than my left pupil. Some causes that might result in different pupil sizes are internal bleeding inside the skull, brain tumour or for example sudden hits to the neck causing nerve damage. Very abrupt the doctor arranged with a MRI scan appointment and made a reservation with a neurologist. I realised that my life could change dramatically. During the time I had to wait for the scan and the results I sure did a lot of thinking. What if I was told I had one more year to live, would I be doing what I was doing? The answer to that was a loud and clear "no". I would have quit work, sold my apartment and spent time on creating something. Something creative, my own project, that could outlast me. Based on this experience I made a list of things to do in case something serious would show up as a result of the scan.

I will never forget the day I got the envelope containing the results. It was a beautiful sunny day. To most people it must have been a great day. To me it was a day where time stood still. I brought the letter with me, went out and sat down on a bench in a park. I knew my life could be turned upside down. Just a few days earlier I had not even considered that anything at all could be wrong with me. Now I was very uncertain. I carefully opened the envelope and pulled out the letter. I unfolded it, took a deep breath and started reading. The verdict was there, black letters on a white piece of paper that was extra bright in the sunlight. Some words would define if I ended up laying down crying or standing up laughing of relieve. Thankfully the latter was the case. The result was negative. Nothing wrong was discovered. A heavy load was lifted off my chest.

At the same time it reminded me of how fragile life is. How quickly things can be turned upside down when you least expect it. I decided to follow the list I had made, to some degree. Because even thought the pictures showed nothing negative it is impossible to know what the future will bring. Life can change in less than a second. And it is always too late to do anything about your past. My goal with the list was to try to live more today, and plan less for tomorrow. Because tomorrow might never come. I'm struggling to follow this plan though. It's very far from easy. I can't go around living every day as it was my last either. Some plans needs to be made. Much of the society is also formed in a way expecting everyone living for tomorrow. Work hard for your money, buy expensive things and save for the future. I've done several changes lately though as a result of "my list". I've swapped jobs, I've moved, I've starting some fun projects, like the MUP12 and the 400MP. I'm working on a book project, despite that progress being very slow. I'm getting rid of stuff I don't need and things that consumes time I feel non-constructive for me. So far the changes I've done feels correct. But there are more to come. I'll play more, I'll create more and I'll have more fun, today, and tomorrow if tomorrow comes.

Me, my brain. Doing the scan was a horrible experience. Stuck inside a tiny nosy tube.

Family and life changes
Family and life changes are other important causes of stress. In three years I went from being along, to living with a girlfriend, to getting married, to moving to a new country on the other side of the planet, to getting divorced. And the divorce was far from a smooth one. I think that do satisfies as "family change". In total I've moved five times during the last 1.5 years.

Work changes
Changing work can be very stressful as well. In January I started in a new job. A job in many ways being quite different to my previous one. Different tasks and more responsibility. Luckily to me the changes in work has been nothing but positive. However, it still has been stressful, at times.

Money
Lacking money, or losing money, is also an important source for stress. Due to my catastrophe marriage I did lose a very sufficient amount. Several hundred thousand Norwegian kroner as a direct loss. However I can easily argue I've lost heaps more than a million kroner due to being outside of the real estate market in a period where the prices has gone sky high. In many ways I had to start from scratch again, something that is challenging.

Being busy
Constantly being busy, having things to do, never having time to sit down and relax. That is another cause of stress. Those keywords do describe my life. Since 2006 till today I've only had two proper holidays where I did nothing but relaxing. And each of those two holidays lasted for one week only. I've constantly had some projects going on. Many of them being fun, but too many has felt like a total waste of time.

And there is more
And these are just the things that has happened recently. Throughout my life there has been a lot more that can easily be labelled as major sources for stress.

Am I stressed?
Despite everything that has happened, and everything still going on, I do believe I manage very well. However at times I do feel stressed. I feel that it's limited what new "projects" I can take on-board. To me being stressed is not a state I want to be in. It's not when I'm stressed I feel happy. When I'm stressed and have too much on my mind I do not have time nor energy for doing any creative work. And creating something, whether it's being a still photography, a blog post or a computer program, is very important to me. Lately I've done a lot more creative stuff than in a very long period of time, hence I do know I'm moving in the right direction. An important medicine for surviving, without getting too stressed, is exercise. It's absolutely amazing what a long run in the forest do if you've got too much on your mind. If I did not exercise I'm sure I would not at all been where I am today. I would have hit the wall long ago, in great speed, unsure if I would have managed to ever get up again.

src:
http://changingminds.org/explanations/stress/stress_causes.htm
http://www.stress-and-relaxation.com/main-causes-of-stress.html
http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-causes-of-stress
http://helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm

4 comments:

  1. Bra skrevet! Me like! :-)

    En ting er at livet til tider er hektisk, man har mye å gjøre osv., men en helt annen ting er når dette hektiske livet begynner å skape en dårlig følelse innvendig; når det skaper en følelse av utilstrekkelighet, konstant dårlig samvittighet, følelse av alltid å være på etterskudd og aldri ha tid nok til å gjøre noe fullhjertet og ordentlig. Det er når et hektisk liv snus til å oppleves som noe man ikke lenger behersker at jeg tenker stress, og da negativt stress (for noen vil kanskje hevde at noen former for stress kan ha et snev av positivitet i seg).

    Så lenge man føler at man mestrer så kan det være svært tilfredsstillende å leve et hektisk liv.... det er bare desverre slik at de fleste av oss i våre hektiske liv befinner oss balanserende på en svært tynn line hvor fallhøyden er ganske stor; for det er lite som skal til før det bikker og avmakt erstatter den suverene mestringsfølelsen.....

    Faktorene du beskriver (familie, jobb, økonomi etc) blir derfor svært viktige; for butter det på en eller flere av disse arenaene i livet så kan det meste brått oppleves som stressende... ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Takk for det Silja.

      Bra beskrevet av deg også. Helt enig, man kan godt leve et hektisk liv, som går utmerket så lenge man har overskudd nok. Fallhøyden, som du skriver, er stor om det bikker over. Jeg tror jeg befinner meg litt for nær denne grensen, så jeg har tatt og skal fortsette å ta grep for en litt annerledes hverdag. På søndag begynner min første to ukers ferie på år og dag. Kan faktisk ikke huske sist jeg hadde fri så lenge, uten at jeg samtidig måtte flytte eller skille meg (eller begge deler) ((:

      Viktig at man er bevisst på tingene som gjør en stresset, og gjør noen med dem mens man kan.

      Vaffelgaloppen i sommernatten med en mengde hyggelige folk er for eksempel et glitrende antistress-tiltak!

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    2. Ja det er helt klart en fordel å fange signalene i tide samt også handle i tråd med signalene..... høres ut som du kan ha godt av en ferie ;-) Vaffelgaloppen skulle jeg gjerne vært med på men har pr tiden ingen barnevakt; lykke til!

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    3. Tusen takk. Kjedelig at du ikke har barnevakt, er et kjekt løp. Jeg skal spise et par plater for deg også!

      Delete

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