I remember learning somewhere — high school? university? a book? a matchbook cover? — that “stress” is a normal and important part of life. We have a problem with stress only when we let it become “distress.”
Here in the Greater Daglan Area, we are pretty good about dealing with stress. For one thing, we don’t have much of it.
For another, there are lots of positive aspects of life upon which we can focus. Anyway, failing all else, we can simply relax and let it roll off our backs. Let me give you a case in point, dealing with a real-life stress for me, and using our female cat Amélie as a model for proper relaxation techniques.
The stress I’m dealing with is one of anticipation, and it faces me almost every morning. Typically, I have a small bowl of Greek yoghurt with some bran cereal for breakfast (one reason that I can consume such substantial lunches). And there, staring me in the face each morning, is this:
Even if you don’t understand much French, you can probably figure out that the cereal maker is warning us that a new packaging design is coming soon. But when is “soon”? What will the new design look like? Will we be able to find the cereal on the supermarket shelves? Obviously, this is a stress of anticipation, with lots of unanswered questions. So, to see how to cope with this, we now turn to Amélie. Here she is, settled on the carpet in front of a cozy fire, beginning to de-stress:
However, sitting up so properly can be quite tiring. So she obviously decides that it would make more sense to let loose, and allow her muscles to relax further. Like this:
Having gone this far, Amélie wisely decides to go for a flat-out relaxation posture, removing any hint of stress. Like this:
Looks pretty comfortable. I might even try that posture myself this afternoon, and force myself to stop wondering how the new cereal box will look. But first, I think I’ll enjoy lunch. We’re having roast quail.