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Times of high stress - how do you cope?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Cap'n Spanky, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    Hey good friends,

    I'm in negotiations for a possible new job. It's an exiting opportunity for advancement and is right up my alley in terms of interest and experience. But it also comes with more responsibility, expectations, and longer hours. I probably won't know anything about the status of the job for a week or so, but I know I stand a very good chance of getting it.

    While I'm maintaining a fairly calm outward appearance, inside my guts are churning. I feel like I'm in a semi-constant state of "fight or flight". All the old feelings are niggling at me... fear/anxiety, feelings of inadequacy (I'm not good enough), fear of failure and the need to be perfect, feeling I need to make everyone happy (my potential new employer, my current employer, my wife)... I could go on.

    So... how do you calm your anxiety? How do you turn-off the non-stop flight or fight response?

    FYI - I have been doing some meditation and journaling. I thought it would be good to get some fellowship here. Thanks in advance!
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've been there and I know it's hard to deal with. The only thing that helps me when I am in that state is to get out of my head. Stop thinking about myself and put my attention outside myself. Find something completely distracting and absorbing--an activity; someone else's life and problems; immerse yourself in nature and pay attention to the beauty, sounds, smells; play with a pet or your kids (if you don't have either, borrow someone else's), etc. Whenever you find yourself back on me and my situation, gently shift your attention away from yourself.

    I also find it helpful to put clear boundaries around how much time I'll spend evaluating my situation and planning for the future--like 30 minutes a day is enough, and anything beyond that is just ruminating and not helpful--or whatever time frame works for you.

    Congratulations on the new opportunity! Your awareness that even good things can be stressful will be helpful to you. Care for yourself well during this time.

    Wishing you the best....
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Changing jobs, especially changing careers, are among the most stressful things that cause TMS symptoms.
    Meditating, journaling, and deep breathing are great anxiety relievers, but I also suggest taking your mind off
    the uncertainty of getting the new job by just relaxing with distractions you enjoy... hobbies, sports (engaging in
    attending sporting events), see some new movies, or old ones that are in the field of work you will be in.
    Notice how positive I am about it.

    Be sure to include your wife in the activities. Take this time between jobs to spend more time with her.
    Maybe even take a weekend off to have a "second honeymoon" at a hotel or resort.

    Good luck. Your symptoms will go away when the job situation is resolved.
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  4. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    Ellen and Walt...

    Thanks so much for taking the time to respond! Your advice is awesome! I will take it to heart.
    Laudisco likes this.
  5. mdh157

    mdh157 Well known member

    agreed.......you need to take your mind off of things whenever you can Cap'n, it will at least give your mind a rest, even if it is a brief one. i'm dealing with the same stuff, hard to relax but the more i look at this, the more stuff i find that needs to be worked on.
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  6. EasyBeFree

    EasyBeFree New Member

    Cap'n, I can relate to what you are going through as I have been dealing with major work stress as well. Sometimes the stress and anxiety becomes so overwhelming and constant that my brain freezes up and I can't get anything done. It's like my mind takes over thinking about the problems and stress that it preoccupies me from doing the things I need to get done.

    Ellen and Walt, that is all very good advice. I love the idea of getting out of my head, because that is where I get stuck - in my head.

    I've been doing some mediation too, which has been helpful.

    Good luck Cap'n.
  7. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    Thanks, EasyBeFree! Your name would indicate that you handle stress very well. ;):)

    I've been doing more meditation. That really seems to help. Also trying to keep my imagination from running wild, worrying about things. Worry really comes from our imagination (imagining all bad possible outcomes). And worry is the precursor to anxiety.

    Best of luck to you in your journey!!
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    It may sound too simple, but I've said for a long time that laughing helps me to forget what is worrying me.
    I saw a tv talk show a few night ago about a book called LAFF IT OFF! It's a good reminder with examples of
    how laughing helps heal us. If something worries me, I start laughing and the worries go away.

    If you can't think of anything funny, just smile. The smile soon turns into a laugh.
    Lizzy and Cap'n Spanky like this.
  9. EasyBeFree

    EasyBeFree New Member

    Cap'n, so true about the worrying and how our imagination creates the worry and anxiety. It would be much easier if I could prevent my mind from wandering off and worrying about all the possibilities. Instead of wasting time worrying I'd be much better off doing something productive.
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  10. Ollin

    Ollin Peer Supporter

    All good advices. When I find myself ruminating with intrusive thoughts and getting myself anxious I do some EFT tapping. This process helps to get clarity of what and why actually bothers me and usually the emotional charge of a part of or whole issue collapses. If journaling helps you, breaking the thing apart into smaller pieces should also make it easier to approach the problem. If interested, there's plenty of instruction on the net on how to do EFT, but so far the most beneficial for me was the founder's, Gary Craig's, official tutorial: http://www.emofree.com/eft-tutorial/eft-tapping-tutorial.html and I'm making a lot of progress with my long-standing life issues.
  11. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi there,

    I was recently in a situation like yours and remember feeling pretty much exactly what you describe.( You describe it extremely well, btw). Normally this kind of stress would trigger my tms, but it didn't this time because I was aware that I was doing it. I said to myself, "there I go again, worrying about this and that, and I don't have the job yet." I gently laughed at myself for doing that and eventually I realized I didn't actually have to think about it all time (I like Ellen's suggestion of putting a time limit).

    I ended up not getting the job, so I was really glad I was able to limit the among of energy I spent on thinking about it. Worked out for the best anyway.

    Best of luck to you!
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.

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