Dealing with Stress and Work Levels

Why does it always seem like I’m making one confession or another on this blog? CURSE YOU, HONESTY!!! Today’s confession? How I’ve been dealing with stress is making me more stressed, I think. To understand this phenomenon, we shall turn to Seinfeld. To George, specifically:

See that trick there? I’m worried that’s me, except instead of using it to get out of working at all, I use it to fend off more work from an otherwise crammed plate. In other words, I’m really busy, and instead of declining requests for help because I’m really busy, I’ve been letting people see how busy I am, so that they don’t ask me to do anything else.

But the other morning as I was reflecting on life, the universe, and everything–while I was in the shower, in other words–I came up with the idea that the whole “fake it till you make it” thing works both ways. You can fake happiness, and eventually cheer yourself up out of a bad mood. But can you fake grumpiness and stress, and become grumpy and stressed?

Yes, my friends. Yes you can.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’ve been faking being stressed. There’s plenty of stress to go around in my life at the moment. But at the same time, by focusing on the stressful things and letting them rise to the surface, I worry that I’m squelching happy things and the ability to just enjoy the good things that are going on in my life.

Why by a grumpy grump all the time, just so I can get out of learning how to say “No” effectively?

Note to self: this might *not* be an effective way to say no, but it’s probably more effective than being perpetually gloomy, much as I love me some Eeyore.

So I’m going to try and focus on the positive for the next while. Try to be upbeat. And when people ask me to do things that I just can’t do or don’t have time for, I’ll try to cheerfully explain that. Here’s hoping it actually works . . .

(Looking over past blog posts, it appears I’ve made this decision before, back in June of 2007. Interesting. That was the tail end of a very long, gloomy period. Grad school rejections, job application rejections–tough times. A month later, I had a new job. Two months later, I was in a new state with a new house and new friends. Things got markedly brighter, really quickly. I’m not sure what–if anything–that had to do with my outlook on life, but it certainly wasn’t hurt by it at all.)

2 thoughts on “Dealing with Stress and Work Levels”

  1. I sure hope it wasn’t the “new friends” bit that made your life so much brighter back in 2007. 😛

  2. Hardy har har. Writing group, friends, and family were literally the only three things I missed about Utah. Still are. If only all of you would move out here to Maine, then the awesome could really begin. 🙂

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