Stress? No worries

The class I attended the other day was the sort of class that has become fashionable in recent years, but doubt ever existed even 10 years ago. It was a generic class that everyone had to attend regardless of the course they are doing, and was all about personality types, time-management, learning methods, and managing the work/life balance.

During the afternoon the subject of stress came up. “Who suffers from stress?” the instructor asked.

I thought about that. I have an extremely stressful life. Stress in extremis. But do I suffer from stress? It was a quandary, and in the end I elected not to put my hand up.

Probably half the class did though, and the next question – “how does it affect you?” – led to some very revealing answers.

I sat there listening as people explained how stress impacted on their lives. Sleeplessness was a common complaint. One guy said he becomes agitated in his sleep and cries until his wife wakes him. Headaches, and even nausea, seemed to be pretty standard. It was eye-opening stuff.

I’m sure I have episodes where stress has affected me. I know there are times when I feel as if it’s all getting away from me. I don’t recall any physical symptoms of it though. I sleep fine, which is quite a feat given it’s on a narrow and uncomfortable couch. Have I had a stress related headache? Maybe, maybe not. Certainly not often if at all. As for nausea? The most I can ever claim is the occasional pre-match queasiness, but I don’t think that’s the same thing.

I’m very lucky, and just as well. Judging by reports I could just as easily be a babbling, sleepless wreck if I were a different type. Maybe there’s truth to what they say that God will never give you more than you can handle.

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