How to Be Stressed Out All the Time

Via on Oct 14, 2011

You know you want to.

You want to be part of the club. You know the one, it’s the “Oh my God,  I am soooo stressed out” club. It’s not cool to be relaxed anymore. Even if you are part of the whole yoga/mindfulness/eco scene, you’d better at least give the appearance of being world-weary and overburdened by it all. You have to be ready to one-up people when they tell you how stressed they are.

If you aren’t stressed out, you probably aren’t very important. Important people have to have a furrowed brow and permanent knot between their shoulders. And we are all supposed to be good little do-bees doing important stuff, right? Right…

(Photo: Reversingibs.com)

It’s not enough to be busy.

Many people mistakenly use the words “busy” and “stressed” interchangeably when it’s just not accurate. We were made to work. It’s not the busyness that’s the problem. In fact, for many people, too little to do is stressful too. Work is a good thing. Play is a good thing. If you want to be stressed out, you need to do more than just work. You need to commit yourself to the following:

1. Treat your laptop like an appendage. Because, you know, you have lots of important things to do. You don’t want to miss that key email, tweet, status update, or text. What would happen? It doesn’t matter if you are outside, eating a meal, talking with a friend––stay plugged in at all costs. Bonus points here if logging on is the first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you do before you go to sleep. Meditation, schmeditation, get online! (Same thing goes for iPhone or Crackberry.)

2. Make sure you fill every minute of every day. If at all possible, don’t spend a single second alone, and definitely don’t get too quiet. Turn on the television, music, something. If it gets too quiet, you might start thinking. Worse yet, you might even let go of your thoughts and just be for awhile, and what kind of hippie bullsh*t is that!?!

3. Sit all day. If you have to go somewhere, drive. Don’t even think of walking or riding your bike. Moving around is over-rated, right? You might experience your blood flowing through your body, your heart beating, your breath quickening. You might feel something. Also––stay indoors at all costs.

4. Live your life according to someone else’s values. Pick someone. Anyone. The Kardashians seem to be ubiquitous lately. Or aim higher: Deepak Chopra. Steve Jobs. Whoever. As long as it isn’t authentic, you’re golden. As long as it doesn’t match what’s in your heart, take it and run with it. If you want to be stressed out, ignore everything inside that has that golden resonance, every part that’s the real you.

And last but possibly most important of all:

5. Play it safe. Don’t take risks. Don’t love anyone. Don’t speak your mind. Stay in a job you hate. Stay in a relationship that hurts. It’s easier to stay than to go, but it will cost you dearly. Playing it safe has the added bonus of creating a huge internal ache, while giving the appearance that you have it all together and know what you are doing.

Or maybe you’d rather skip all that. Maybe you’re sick of the cult of stress. Maybe there is that piece of you that doesn’t care about what other people think if it means holding onto what insults your soul. In that case, disregard the previous instructions completely and take this advice from Mark Twain instead:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

~ Mark Twain

 

So close your laptop. Put the coffee down. Go outside. Plant your bare feet in the grass. Feel the wind on your skin. Take some deep breaths. Be still, and look at the sky. Reach inside and see what’s there. Dare to do the thing you’ve been afraid to do. Be your own happily ever after. Live deliberately.

 

 

(Photo: Buyseke)

 

 

About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. She doesn't know how to behave with all the apples and ibexes. She doesn't suffer from her eight million freckles, she loves them! Like a rolling stone, Kate gathers no moss. Kate loves kale, being barefoot, Dr. Seuss, singing too loudly, gallivanting, palindromes, blackberries and has far too many books for her own good. When she's not writing, you can find her practicing yoga, running in the woods, playing with her kids, devouring a book, planting dandelions, changing the world and doing her dishes. Kate does not play the accordion. She is a massage therapist, writer and a compassionate friend to all. This year Kate aspires to finally give up on learning to knit and will instead spend that time putting a little bit more of her heart on the page. Connect with Kate on Facebook and Twitter

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19 Responses to “How to Be Stressed Out All the Time”

  1. Love this Kate! Cheers :)

  2. molly says:

    I have only read the first 3 sentences, but already I know …. SO TRUE! Thank you!

  3. I love this article, Kate. I love the tongue-in-cheek delivery, and the playful way you discuss how ridiculous we can be sometimes. Great article.

  4. Andréa Balt says:

    Oh la la, Kate, I love this. Irony is my best teacher, sarcasm my best friend.

    I was just about to shut down and exercise so this is perfect timing. "Crackberry" addict throws berry to the dogs and goes out for a run.

    Posted a similar article on ELE a while back but centered around food http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/08/how-to-eff… that when properly used could become stress' best friend. Didn't it hurt you to write this one? It hurt me as I was writing mine but some people (me, to begin with) just need things said upside down to understand :)

    Now with your permission, I will go out and disobey.

  5. Joe says:

    good stuff Kate..and true too..I enjoyed your last and first two posts..keep it up.
    Joe

  6. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Join us! Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  7. Jayne says:

    Thanks for sharing you posts Kate~ I'm enjoying them! Will have to catch up soon!

  8. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Join us! Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  9. [...] Or stay in the bud if you have to. If it still feels easiest, you can stay. But maybe you can’t anymore. Maybe that burning in your chest to be more than you are right now can’t be ignored. Maybe that drive to change the world can’t be hummed away. Maybe the cocoon is just too tight and you need to rip through it. Maybe like me you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, but you know that you are made for more than a sit-com life sitting back in your chair watching everything go by like a ticker-tape parade of mediocrity. Maybe like me, you haven’t figured it all out, but you just can’t stay in the safe harbor. [...]

  10. [...] what if there was a simple way to relieve stress and to center [...]

  11. Jeff says:

    Its was all good until I saw… "put down your coffee"… Is that possible? I dont understand. I might die, or at least surely loose the ability to move.
    But the rest of it all sounds pretty good. Maybe I will try this putting down the coffee you speak of .

  12. Andréa Balt says:

    I think #5 is hard for most people. There's a quote by Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead) that just came to my mind: "Anything may be betrayed, anyone may be forgiven. But not those who lack the courage of their own greatness."

    Life lived to its fullest has to be bold, I agree, and as such, inevitably great. :) Cheers.

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