T Minus Two Type Two Diabetes and Other Passions

2Mar/132

Writing Down My Stress

Imagine that your stress level at any given moment showed on a dial, like the RPMs on a stick shift automobile. Imagine further that the dial hows three zones. The green zone means you're comfortable - you're not stressed at all or to within an easily manageable level. The yellow zone means you're motivated - you're stressed, but stressed at a healthy level that stirs to action: yellow means you're rolling up your sleeves.  The red zone means you're overstressed - you're incapacitated rather than motivated.

Some folks don't seem to HAVE a red zone, or are able to manage their stress so that it never reaches red. I, on the other hand, spend way too much time in the red zone - and being in the red zone makes it pretty tough to do anything to address the stressful situation.

Lately, I've been doing quite a bit of writing to try to manage my stress level. My writings are a lot like blog pssts, although no one but me will ever see most of this. Writing for myself alone allows me to be as honest as I understand with myself. I don't have to be fair or just, I just have to try to fully understand how I feel about my subject. (I also, on occasion, abandon the rules of English, with passages taking on a stream of consciousness aspect to express myself.) Often, I find that what I write comes as a surprise to me.

So far, there are two kinds of entries. Many of the entries are about things that are bothering me right now, such as a frustrating project at work. These entries not only level the stress my allowing me to understand and express my feelings, but often become problem-solving exercises that end with action plans. In other entries, I'm attempting to dial back my overall stress by addressing subjects that have bothered me for a long time. A week ago, because of how strongly I was reacting to TV commercials about bullying, I wrote a thousand words about my experiences with being bullied - and a couple of occasions when I participated in bullying. (My experiences weren't at all bad as such things go - but that doesn't mean that they aren't pretty bad memories.)

I know that the entries about the daily stuff are helping, because they've allowed me to take action to make things better. I don't know if the personal history entries are really helping: it feels good when I've finished writing, but it's too early to know if there's a lasting benefit.

We'll see.

 

Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Very much like this post, Bob! I also do a lot of journaling off of the blog, something I am trying to make more of a conscious effort to do. I definitely understand the perceived difference between the “daily discovery/growth” type entries and the reflective type entries on the past–and the different vibe I walk away from each with.

    Keep it up–it will get you where you are meant to be with the journaling eventually! :]

  2. Seems as if there is already a great benefit – just letting loose and getting all of that stress out there. I think it’s a great practice, and do hope you’ll keep at it. I’d love to hear what you think of it after more time passes.


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