Does stress makes the world go ’round?Published 9:10am Monday, November 14, 2011
Column: Something About NothingOwen
The world thrives on stress. I don’t. Apparently I am having a little or big anxiety problem. It hits me when I least expect it. It might be tied to something malfunctioning in my body or it could be plain stress or anxiety. Until the verdict is in I have been looking around for ways to reduce my anxiety.
Anderson Cooper had a show on fear recently. He faced his fears. Anderson is afraid of heights. (So am I.) They took Anderson to the ultimate height in his studio on a shaky crane. He was belted in. The crane let loose and he hung there in the belt. I don’t think I will try that. They documented his heart beats. His heart beat under stress equaled my heart beat at rest. What was wrong with that picture? He must be in good shape.
The idea was that if you confronted what you fear it will go away. I wonder if it actually worked for him. I did find some of their advice helpful.
A couple of days later I was intrigued by an article on MSN involving bizarre ways to relieve your stress. One of the suggested ways to relieve stress was to have a snake massage. They demonstrated with a picture of someone having a snake massage with many colorful snakes on their back. My first thought was “This has to be a joke.” It wasn’t. They were serious. I could not think of anything that would make me more stressed than a snake massage. I think even Anderson Cooper might agree with me that a snake massage is going too far. It appears he gets nervous around snakes too.
Encounters with snakes move me far past panic attacks. They move me into the screaming, jumping, running scenario. A few years ago I walked onto my patio and encountered a snake. The screams were loud. My supposed hero rushed outside. I screamed “Kill it! Kill it!” He laughed, picked it up and tossed it across the street.
What did that snake do? He proceeded to crawl back across the street, up on our boulevard and back on our patio. Obviously he did not think my screams were serious. But then he maybe thought my supposed hero was playing a game of toss with him and thought it would be fun to play again.
Again, I screamed “Kill it! Kill it!” Again my supposed hero tossed it across the street. Again Mr. Snake must have thought it was a game and proceeded to come back across the street. Panic set in to my body. I could not watch anymore. That snake was out to get me. My supposed hero was not going to save me. In my panic I knew I had to take my fate into my own hands. I got in my car and taking aim headed for the snake and ran him over. Did that stop Mr. Snake? Of course not. Apparently snakes are like cats that have nine lives and he did not die.
I don’t think a snake massage is in my future for relieving my anxiety. One of the other suggestions I didn’t find quite so frightening was a beer bath. I wonder if the idea is that inhaling a tub full of beer intoxicates you so you wouldn’t notice your stress. The article also suggested ironing, shouting, haiku and flower baths.
I have sensitive skin so I also do not think the skin brushing with a hair brush would mellow me out unless the pain would make me forget the other reason I was anxious. Apparently there are many people who are suffering from anxiety too.
Whether anxiety is caused by a physical reason in your body or by the society we live in it is very real to those who are having problems with it. I am finding that since I have been sharing instead of hiding when I am anxious that I do not feel so alone.
Everyone walks different roads. If we can share with each other without judgment we won’t feel so alone. I don’t think a snake massage is going to relieve my anxiety but if works for you, go for it! As for me I might try the beer bath or the flower bath and I am sure I will skip the ironing.
The MSN article also advises shouting it out and screaming. I guess Mr. Snake was a stress reliever after all since my screams could have been heard all over the neighborhood.
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” — Charles Spurgeon
Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at email@example.com.