Summary: The answer to the question of "How do I deal with Stress?"

I am sure that I am the only one here who ever slips up and allows stress to get to me. I know I am probably the only one who ever works hard to cover it all up and show one person on the outside while inside there is something completely different going on.

To describe what I mean let’s reference some of the greatest philosophers of our time, the Muppets. I think Jim Henson’s Muppets probably say things better than anyone else on some of the more important matters in life.

I have caught myself on many occasions walking around and in every face to face encounter I have I act like the blue guy and say my own version of “Hi dare! I am your lovable pal Grover.”(In your best Grover voice) And all the while I am promoting this smile and cuddly, lovable attitude with smiles and winks or warm handshakes and quips there is, inside of me, this voice that wants to scream out “AN-I-MAL”. (In your best Animal voice.)

When the bank teller is taking to long I smile and say “tank you” but inside I am raging and wanting to say “MON-NEY NOW”.

When I am driving down the road and that guy cuts me off I smile and yet inside that voice screams “I-Di-OOOT”

When I come home and my wife does something that I don’t particularly care for that voice may actually leak out “WOOOOOOOOMAN”.

Now help me out here. I know that I am surly not the only guy that has this problem. The problem of never being able to properly express my stress. I am almost certain that I am not the only one with stress.

The fact is that we all have stress. My stress is no worse than yours and your stress is no worse than mine. I admit that I may feel that my stress is worse than your’s but it is only because it is my stress. If I were to take your stress I am sure I would feel your stress is worse. The thing is that we all have stress and we all feel very prominent about our stress.

Now I have been talking about putting on a happy face while inside the stress is screaming like an animal. This attempt at living two realities is also the cause of a lot more stress. Wouldn’t you agree that it is more stressful to keep it all bottled up? Don’t you think that it is probably pretty dangerous to your health, and to the health of those around you, to let the pressure build up inside you until that day when you finally POP?

As with any problem we have in life we need to take this problem and look for possible solutions to it. There are two possible solutions I have come up with for handling the problem. I am going to share them with you and I want you to figure out which one is probably better.

The first possible solution is to let the inside voice be heard on the outside.

What might be good about this solution?

Some people assume that if they vent they will feel better. Often this is the case. Often if we can just unload a little we do indeed feel better. Sometimes, when we talk it out, we can feel a load lift from our backs. However, on the flip side of the same coin I have noticed that with many occasions I actually feel worse when I spend time whining about it. I notice that when I think I am venting I am actually whining and complaining and as a result I am driving myself deeper and deeper in to a hole of negativity and gloom.

Getting it out may have another advantage. By telling someone else about all your problems and by venting all your anger too them then two people can carry your burden. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to have some help with your struggle.

This is certainly a good answer. Sometimes we need some help carrying our load. Sometimes it is more than we can bear. However, I have noticed that most of the time when I really want to tell somebody something, even though I have convinced myself that I am just venting, I really have a very different motive. In truth I may be telling someone something (venting) so I will look better. In other words I may be venting in order to tear someone else down a peg or two.

If I am not trying to tear someone down then I may just be trying to camouflage a good packet of gossip. While I know gossiping is wrong I can disguise it as venting and somehow that helps it be OK

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