I read an article the other day entitled “Are We Addicted to Stress?” I thought to myself, “what a ridiculous notion. No one would willingly allow themselves to be stressed.”
I have this concept that stress is a reaction to sticky situations. That when hard or bad things happen then stress appears. Cause and effect. Pretty simple.
After reading this article, though, I think I’m wrong. The article essentially says that stress is a habit and even sometimes a choice. People tend to get stressed in consistent ways, so when your brain recognizes a stressful situation coming it just automatically turns stress on. After a while, your body might be stressing out proactively. It might anticipate a familiar situation and BAM! full-force stress. Other people choose stress in a variety of forms. They stay busy and keep their calendar full so that stress is just built in to every day.
This woke me up. Big time.
The end of last week was some of the best days of my life. My mom came to town on her birthday. We had an incredible dinner and were able to catch up after too much time apart. We spent the next two days shopping for wedding dresses. There was so much love and so many tears of joy in each of the bridal salons, I can’t even explain. Then on Saturday, my future in-laws threw us the most incredible engagement party. It was completely beautiful and filled with so many people who love and support us. Never has there been such an amazing party. Finally, on Sunday morning my dad hosted a brunch for our families and a few friends who were still in town. Again, more love, more champagne, and more food. All of the good things.
I had a migraine for the majority of the fun, which put me out of commission for some of it. Migraines happen way too frequently in my life and have happened for as long as I can remember. They are also a pretty common side affect of stress, but it took this past weekend for me to finally connect the dots that my migraines could be stress related.
I get these kinds of migraines when I get too excited, when I’ve had a lot of time to look forward to something, when all of the attention is on me, etc. It started when I was young and has become a theme, so much so that I’ve started prepping for big events by preemptively taking ibuprofen. I have basically given in to the circumstances and have pretty much started telling my body when it should be stressed. The triggers are always the same and so are the results.
So, in addition to keeping track of my headache days and increasing the amount of water I drink to deal with potential dehydration, I’m looking into stress control. I don’t really know what that means or what that will look like but I’m looking into it. I’m trying to make yoga a more serious part of my life. It’s something I’ve loved in the past and want to be more consistent with. This is all in hopes of having a migraine-free wedding day a year from now and really a migraine free life!
How do you deal with stress in your life?