Aloha Friday: How do you handle stress?

As B has mentioned in a couple of posts, the past week has been a stressful one.  We have some big decisions to make and they aren’t easy ones.  There is no perfect choice ahead of us.  (Life rarely offers such choices up.)  Instead, we’re presented with a short list of options, none of which feel like the right one (each for different reasons).  So you can understand why stress levels have been rising.

Now, different people react to stress in different ways.  Some people drink, some eat, some yell and scream.  I don’t do any of that.  (Ok, sometimes I eat.)  I’ve written before about how I handle stress.  Lately, my stress reaction has been two-fold.  Step one is avoidance.  I think about television, blog posts, music, anything that isn’t the subject that is causing me stress.  To some degree this is healthy: After all, it isn’t good to dwell on your stress subjects too much.  However, there is a temptation to avoid the stress subject entirely and that isn’t healthy.  Without addressing it in some manner, the situation will grow worse and the stress will increase.

When I can’t ignore the stress, I internalize it.  I might be fuming on the outside and wanting to scream so loud that people a mile away could hear me, but I actually get very quiet.  I try to conduct my life as normally as possible without showing my stress.  In some respects, this is a tactic I learned from my history of being bullied.  Back then, showing any reaction to the bullies (anger, sadness, stress, etc) just led to additional bullying because of my reactions.  So I learned to hide all of my emotions.  To the world at large, I was calm and serene while inside I was crumbling.  I know this isn’t the most healthy response and I’ve since learned to open up more.  Still, it is how I instinctively react.

My Aloha Friday question for today is: What do you do when you are stressed?  How do you handle it?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the McLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #81