Stress is not your enemy. Stress is more like a house guest who doesn’t realise it’s time to leave. Stress is fine and dandy in the proper time and place. But you can’t let it stay in your house all the time after the party is over. There’s a time when you have to tell it in no uncertain terms to go away.
You need balance in everything, including how you perceive stress. It is not a contagious disease, a conspirator against the human race or even someone who likes to play practical jokes on folks. You don’t need to COMPLETELY eliminate stress from your life — if you do, that would be just as dangerous to you as being stressed all of the time.
Lessons from Goldfish
Stress is one of many inner tools that our bodies use in order to survive. You can see this in any critter. One of the most peaceful sights in the world is a goldfish swimming about, (unlike these special nibbling fish, goldfish usually don’t go looking for stressed skin to nibble on). Too much stress will kill them off (goldfish stress includes overcrowding the tank, sudden change in water temperature, some idiot tapping the tank glass).
When goldfish are stressed, they loose some of their protective body slime (that’s what it’s called, I swear) that keeps away certain fishy diseases which are always present in freshwater. When the slime’s away, the fishy diseases play…unfortunately, on the body of the fishy.
However, stress is also what makes goldfish alert for predators and to quickly swim (or even leap out of the water) away from them. Stress is what gets their bodies ready for the quick actions needed to keep away from the mouths (or the nets) of the Big Fish.
But after the menace goes away, the goldfish relax and go bopping about their fishy ways, looking for food, sleep-swimming and quite possibly meditating. Goldfish seem to have the ability to turn their stress reactions completely off when they need to relax. This saves their energy for the next time they need to avoid another Big Fish. If their wild carp ancestors didn’t have stress at all, goldfish would never have been domesticated. Now goldfish keepers get to worry for the fish.
So, don’t look at stress as The Enemy. It is your friend…whenever the shadows of the Big Fish of your life swim overhead. If you are stressed, your body thinks something is around to harm you. If you can’t see and can’t sense any immediate danger, then it is safe to relax. Take a deep breath and treat yourself to some of the other posts on this blog.
Hope it goes swimmingly for you.