I’ve been trying to recall the first time that I heard the terminology stressed out.  Perhaps it was sometime during the nineties, or maybe even the late eighties.  I don’t know, but I do know that the catch phrase hasn’t been a part of our vocabulary for all that long.  Was it that we didn’t have things in our lives that stressed us or were we just more adept at handling it?  Could it be that life was simpler and a lot less hectic?


Certainly a high-tech secretary, such as a Blackberry wasn’t a necessity, and only the elite, corporate executive was in need of something or someone to keep track of all the appointments throughout one’s typical day.  Today, we have so filled our calendars that we haven’t an evening or a weekend free.  We must plan weeks in advance for a dinner date with friends or even an evening with the family.  We need to slam on the brakes before we crash, and burn!


Some things,  intended to make our lives less stressful, can be contributing factors to our shattered nerves!  I’m speaking specifically of personal computers.  AAACCCKKK!  Even now, I am hand writing this article while I feverishly await the repair of my hard drive.  Well, not mine…my computer’s.  At any rate, I realize how much I have come to rely upon that precious, little gizmo.  I feel completely isolated without e-mail!  The lack of it leaves me feeling disconnected and, yes, stressed out!  There!  I’ve admitted it!  I can’t believe that I have let a piece of modern technology dominate my life and cause me such grief!  I can’t believe that I now have to rely on that outdated, old-fashioned form of communication the telephone.  I HATE talking on the telephone!  It is such a monumental waste of time!  Why would I want to talk on the phone when I could be chasing a mouse around a pad, sending & receiving, and deleting until my heart’s content?  The t-e-l-e-phone, of all things!  More stress!  Where’s my Tylenol!


I think I need to de-stress, get-a-grip, get-a-handle-on-it, get a life!  I’m supposed to be an expert on this “mind, body, spirit” thingy.  But, what do I do when I get stressed out?  I have found there are definite phases to the process. 


Phase I – First, I blow off steam.  Just ask my poor, sweet, and very calm husband. 


Phase II – Next, is the whiny stage, the pity-party, the poor me, why-does-this-have-to- happen-to-me phase.  You know the one.


Phase III – I settle down a bit and slip into the, what-am-I-going-to-do-about-it phase.  This is when I clean!  The floors get scrubbed, the bathrooms sparkle, the whatnots get dusted and rearranged, and flowers get put in a vase in the center of the dining room table.  Not only do I burn calories while I work, but I also diffuse my temper and eliminate a lot of my frustration.  My mother used to tell me that working with your hands is great therapy.  She was right, except when it comes to that blasted computer keyboard!


Phase IV – I’ve calmed down now from a full, bubbling boil to a gentle simmer and think I can handle a bubble bath or a favorite TV show.  I must go through all the above stages of the stress sequence before I can indulge in the next phase.


Phase V – Quiet time.  This is the de-stressed, things-aren’t-as-bad-as-they-had-once-seemed, light-a-candle-in-the-wind, and the tomorrow-will-be-a-better-day phase.


We all have our own ways of dealing with stress.  The important thing is that we do deal with it.  Long-term stress can contribute to physical ailments and mental and emotional anguish.  Seeking professional help might be necessary if you find that you aren’t handling life’s stresses so well.



I have to stop writing now.  I have something new to deal with…writer’s cramp!  Have a great, stress-free day, and oh yeah…hold the phone.

5 thoughts on “The Five Simple Stages of Stress

  1. Isn’t it amazing how we’ve allowed stress to become such a regular part of our lives? I do believe it is a serious contributor of some of our problems, i.e. weight, illnesses, sleep deprivation. And, just as you said, some of the things that were made to deliver us from our stress are adding to it. LOL! What are we going to do? Wait, I’m stressing.

  2. Thanks for sharing your stages of stress. My first two are similar to yours but, as far as #3, I don’t clean. (I’m not sharing that one with my hubby–he’d love it if I did that!) However, I do make organize and make lists. Somehow, if I can write things down when I feel overwhelmed it takes the muddle out of my head and puts it on paper. Then I can go relax, watch TV, or enjoy a pound or two of chocolate!

  3. If I’m stressed out, it normally comes from some negative feelings I’m dealing with and I can’t shake it. I am slowly learning more about meditation and re-channeling my mind so I can alleviate the negative thoughts and, therefore, relieve the stress. Does it work? Sometimes, yes but sometimes I have to meditate way too hard just to let go of the negative and that creates more frustration.

  4. Wow! You’ve been around me when I’ve had too much stress. I explode and then I whine. I don’t clean. I do get on my computer and blog or work. It helps me shut everything and everyone out. Then after I hit that calmed down stage, I’ll go back down and watch TV with my husband or read a book. It’s amazing how we all seem to deal with stress in a similar fashion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s