One would say the mark of a mature person is how they handle pressure under stress. Some of us bury the stress only to let it out later in other ways. Others have no valve at all. They just let it all out all at once.
Life is full of stresses and pressures. Even for the retired who have no kids at home and are financially secure, pressure can build. It doesn’t have to be anything major. In fact, if you’re like me and a little OCD, it can be a combination of small things that add up.
I’ve always known it, but in my 30’s, I did a series of psychological profiles only to confirm that I have ‘OCD’ tendencies. For those who may not know what OCD means, it stands for obsessive compulsive disorder.
Now, I’m not like the guy who can’t make it through the day without washing his hands after touching, well, anything. No, I’m more like the guy who feels more at home when the house is relatively in order, my stuff is put in a place where I know I can find it, and things with lines generally line up.
I was told it’s a mark of successful people because they tend to obsess a bit about details. It can be a good thing in moderation. The Mrs. will tell you I try, but occasionally, point something out that really isn’t THAT important.
Everyone needs a way to get the pressure that builds up, out. If they don’t get it out in healthy ways, it will find it’s way out in unhealthy ways like drinking or eating too much. Perhaps in fits of anger or impatience. Or, with physical side effects like insomnia, headaches, and sickness.
Our bodies weren’t built to take pressure. Unlike a pressure cooker which is made to withstand great pressures, we are much more fragile. Why is it that some people seem to handle the pressure better than others? What is it that makes their reaction to the stress something they flourish in instead of implode with?
Like a lot of men my age, I have elevated blood pressure. It’s not bad and can be managed with medicine. What I’ve found is that the stress at work directly affects my blood pressure and this being the final two weeks of Microsoft’s fiscal year, trust me, I’m sticking with the medicine, prayer, walking, and anything healthy I can do to keep the pressure from building up!
Money, kids, work, family, and just watching the news, can all put more pressure on us. At lunch today, there was a mother there with her three kids. I sat at the table next to them and had a front row seat to the pressure cooker. By the end of their meal, she was barking orders and pointing fingers for them to get in the cart or else!!
Yeah, we’ve all been guilty of losing it with our kids. I remember driving my mother to taking up a pack of cigarettes and walking around the house until she ‘cooled off’. She never smoked otherwise. Looking back, I’m glad she found a better way to let out that pressure than getting the nearest hard object to use on my hind end!...
If you’re struggling with pressure and stress, one of the best things you can do is talk about it with someone you can trust. If you don’t have anyone, talk with God. In fact, if it means getting in your car, turning up the radio and just shouting, that may help too. The key is, once that stress gets out, to leave it there and find your focus again.
Books can be written about handling pressure. Suffice to say, I’m not the expert but do know from experience that it can cause us great harm if we turn to the wrong things to deal with it. Every day is an opportunity to try again if we fail and God is a loving God. Thankfully, my Mrs. is a loving Mrs. too…
Today, I’ll leave you with a humorous video of people handling the stresses of work in ways not recommended. I’m not sure if they’re all real, but they’re still worth a good laugh and relief of some of that stress today.
Love always my friends!