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 Post subject: Stress
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 1:50 pm 
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Quote:
A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a
glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers called out ranged from 8oz.to 20oz.

The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends
on how long you try to hold it. "If I hold it for a minute, that's not
a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance."

"In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the
heavier it becomes. "

He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we
carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes
increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on. "

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and
rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on
with the burden."

"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work/life down.
Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow."

"Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if
you can. Relax; pick them up later after you've rested

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:48 pm 
Yeah stress is a bummer :cry: .......I get a lot of it :roll: .but then I guess most folks in a white collar environment do.deadlines etc..............i like incence, buddhist chants.and gregorian ones as well.........and the quiet place in my mind that is my memory of Coed-y-Brennan.........a forest in Wales :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:17 pm 
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Dana-

How much of the stress is a simple decision? If two medics go through the same things day in and day out and one thinks of all the wounds and guts and horror and the other one thinks, "I've really helped a lot of people" ... it's the same glass of water held for the same time, but one sinkd under the stress and the other glows with accomplishment.

My job is (I think) about the funniest in the world, and I thrive here. Other officers consider it psychically toxic, and they burn out...

Decision? Innate? Point of view?

Rory


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:39 pm 
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...perspective, the ability to detach and observe from a distance, and having support and multiple coping strategies in place...

I bet many of the people who burn out early have self-esteem, mental health, or addiction issues of some kind and take the job very personnally. You seem able to detach, view what you do as one small part of the larger human experience, and keep your sense of self intact as you work. The question really is - how did you get to that place? Did you start there?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:14 pm 
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Dana,
I used to suffer a lot from stress, but I've mostly gotten over it by finally being able to be in the present time and place.

One technique used on me by my friend was to watch how I showed up to training. If I was complaining about what one of the kids had done or what was going on at work, he'd press some buttons to get me really going and then we'd train. Of course whatever competence I had would go into the toilet because my mind was really somewhere else. A few kicks to the kidneys and a few slaps along with a punch to the jaw would start to bring me back to where I really was at.

Hard lessons but they worked for me. Now I'm able to reduce my stress at work by living more in the now and not worrying about that deadline two months from now.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:52 pm 
Dana
Does this relate in any way to your standing Qi-Kung.have you found a coping mechanism :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:14 pm 
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Location: Boston
On the paramedic example, detachment is a short term solution. It's a defense mechanism that is ultimately emotionally disabling. Putting things in context and sharing can be a lot more adaptive. Example...

I helped care for a doctor dying of prostate cancer when i was a med student. He wanted to die because of intractable pain and nausea, and it was stressful seeing the suffering, the defeat, and also facing my own inexperience, which was highlighted by treating a board certified internist.

With the advice of the attending palliative care doc, we switched methadone to fentanyl, and the pain improved and the nausea improved and the guy went home looking forward to teaching some more before passing... I was exhausted and drained, and the palliative care doc was beaming and said that it was a delight to have been a factor in his feeling better and a highlight of his day. It took me a while to figure out how he was processing the situation, but since, I've found that palliative care can be a sad but very rewarding enterprise at the same time and look forward to it.

Harder to do that with martial arts situations. We choose few of our assaults...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 12:54 am 
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Location: on the path.
Sorry to revive a defunct thread, but I had a thought on this.

I was talking to a friend today about stress, and we observed that stress is often characterized as an "outside influence", or an external force acting upon an individual.

In fact, stress is a SELF-GENERATED REACTION to circumstances and events.

Whatever stress you suffer from, you have generated it yourself.

Friends of mine who know I train often comment on how it must be a great way to "relieve stress", banging on bags, fighting, etc.

They are amazed when I tell them that for me, it is the opposite.
Practising Karate has largely removed the stress (response) from many of the factors impinging on my daily life.

This includes traffic, co-workers, conversations, attempted confrontations, being task-saturated and many other situations.
Practising Karate has somehow given me a calmness in dealing with these situations, and they no longer create a stress response in me.

Just a thought.

~N~

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 2:13 pm 
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To follow up on that, a piece of advice that I received at a relatively dark time, "No one commits suicide because of what happened to them. They commit suicide because they thought about it too much."

To use the glass analogy, isn't it strange that people can carry around a glass for hours at a party and not notice it, but have them hold the same glass in a bare room for hours and it becomes heavy?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 5:10 pm 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
This is an interesting discussion, and there are some great people in the room who are part of it.

To add to the information on the table...

I had a surgical procedure done on my knee in 1974. As part of it, they gave me some morphine. It was supposed to be a spinal block procedure, and I was going to be conscious all the way through an open knee operation.

I'm basically a healthy person, and this was my first major "event." So I didn't know what to expect. I was thinking "Oh wow, morphine! I won't feel a thing!" But I was wrong.

The morphine didn't change feeling at all. It changed my perception of the feeling. Cuts were made on me before the spinal block took. (It never worked. They ultimately put me under.) I could feel the incisions being made on me. But what changed is that it didn't particularly bother me.

Individually we walk around with our own set of neurotransmitters and neurohormones. Two people go into a gym. One is a regular, and the other a couch potato. Put them both through a workout. One will perceive "good pain" and crave it. The other will be whining like a baby.

The experienced athlete is capable of generating endorphins which change perception. A hard core athlete actually CRAVES the hard workout. (S)he associates it with the high felt later on. In the course of that workout, subconscious mental notes are made of what the body feels. Mostly it's refrigerator noise. However the experienced, hard core athlete may do something that registers as "bad." These days my thought is "Oh s***, that's gonna hurt later on" or "That's not good!"

I believe these are adaptive mechanisms. We crave hard workouts because it was/is functional. Hard work - which can be "painful" - leads to a good crop in the field, a fed family, and passing on of the DNA. Hard work is rewarded in the process of natural selection. The body has adapted through natural selection by having most "feel good" about putting a hard day's work in.

This can be variable.

I generally can watch just about any gory thing. However I remember a time in-between jobs where I just didn't want to go see a violent film. I just didn't want to go there. It's similar to not having worked out for a long time, and then jumping right into body conditioning. Ouch!

The whole multitasking thing is pretty interesting as well, e.g. the person walking around the party with the drink. It doesn't hurt because your mind is elsewhere. It's sort of the phenomenon of making an owie feel better by rubbing it. There are real neurological reasons why that happens.

So normally when in cardiovascular research I could cut my way into a dog chest and be cauterizing the hell out of bleeders as I worked my way in. I'm in my Zen mind mode. I need to be there to have the dexterity necessary to do my job. I don't notice the smell.

But the next day I'll walk into the lab, and SOMEONE ELSE is doing surgery. I smell the burning flesh, and feel a touch of nausea.

Interesting...

Context is everything.

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 7:31 pm 
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You can easily tie this thread right back to what happened at Vtech or why Andrea Yates had drowned her kids. You can talk all you want about stress and mental disorders -the bottom line is people who are engaged in meaningful physical and mental activities are less likely to succumb to these so called "disorders". Things like restless leg syndrome, post partum depression, attention deficit disorder really are symptoms of a spoiled society. I bet people in most other countries would have absolutely no idea what the heck we are talking about. They are under a hundred times more stress than any of us and yet somehow they are able to cope just fine. No army of psychiatrist, and lawyers, and pharmaceutical companies and media sharks either. :evil:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 2:41 am 
dejsis-

Quote:
Things like restless leg syndrome,...really are symptoms of a spoiled society. I bet people in most other countries would have absolutely no idea what the heck we are talking about.


What kind of research have you done to come to that conclusion? What sources can you sight bolstering your position? Or is this just your non-researched opinion and meant to be taken as such???

-wes tasker


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 2:52 am 
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Location: on the path.
I agree with both posts up to a point.

When there is actual clinical depression or post-partum going on, that's another situation, because the "rational mind" has been chemically disabled.

I think Bill would agree that we're "a fine balance of chemicals" away from a very bad day.

And I agree with Djesis that there are a whole lot of "manufactured" "conditions", complete with three-letter contractions, for which they conveniently have a pill to treat.
The pill companies identify a common symptom, give it a 3-letter name to "normalize" it, and then offer their "cure".
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
But stress is different because it arises in otherwise-"normal" people, and is characterized as an EXTERNAL "attacker" that needs to be defended against with said pill.

In fact, the stress is not outside, but inside.
It is not an external attack, but rather, an internal reaction.

So many people in everyday life suffer from stress, yet they think it is something "out there" that they need a Tylenol to protect them against, as if it's the Flu or something similar.

We're conditioned into this by the media, ad agencies, and big-pharma companies selling "cures".

~N~

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 2:45 pm 
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wes tasker wrote:
dejsis-

What kind of research have you done to come to that conclusion? What sources can you sight bolstering your position? Or is this just your non-researched opinion and meant to be taken as such???

-wes tasker



My own personal experience had me come to this conclusion...and as such, yes it is my opinion. I wasn't planning to write a PhD dissertation ~ I could, but then again I wouldn't be doing it on an internet board.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 1:21 pm 
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I think quite a bit of modern stess/health connection has to do with the fact that the coping strategies we are hard-wired with courtesy of evolution and survival of the fittest and all that - aren't really a good match for modern life.

Therefore we must develop a rack of new coping strategies that must first over-ride the innates ones and then manage daily life and crises in such a way that we stay alive physically, maintain mental health, and exist within the constraints of society as we define it today.

So back in the day - if I was the first one to get to the berry bush - I got the berries. Today, standing in a queue to check out my berries frustrates the critter in me that already has the berries and doesn't understand why we need to go through this superfluous ritual of passing in front of an adding machine and handing over some paper in order to get on about the business of the day.

Modern life adds lots of extra hoops we have to jump through - and I don't think everyone gets pre-installed with all the coping strategies they need to do it well.

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