This weekend I went on a psychology course called ‘Introduction to Stress & Happiness’.
When we introduced ourselves to the class I rather smugly informed them that I wasn’t there because of issues with either – I was pretty much the same as everyone else in terms of my stress and happiness levels. I just thought it would be interesting, that I might pick up tips to help a few stressed friends and I might be able to use some of the information when I went to the Philippines. No, I definitely didn’t need this for me, personally.
Then we did a stress symptom test based on our experience of the last two weeks – a relatively relaxing fortnight for me so I fully expected to get a below average score. In official terms I scored ‘Significantly higher than average’ and in the tutors words ‘Wow, that’s ridiculously high’. Hmmm. I have decided to look at this in a positive light. If I’d done the test even just a year ago, I probably would have been medicated on the spot. When I argued that I don’t actually feel stressed, the tutor suggested that maybe I am just ‘naturally highly strung’. Hmmm.
It could have been worse though. It covered things like ‘gritting teeth or clenching jaw’ and ‘difficulty concentrating’. It didn’t cover the rather unique symptoms I have as a result of slightly more daft things such as:
- The utter panic that while wrestling live mice from Norman’s jaws, I may kill the mouse (5 times in the last two weeks)
- The Uh-oh moment when dropping the live mouse on the way out the house and having to encourage it from between a unit and wall into a jam jar using a wooden spoon and gentle words (just the once)
- The sinking feeling on realising that Norman has a ‘naughty walk’ and lying in bed listening for the naughty walk in case he drops the mouse by the side of my bed meaning I might squish it first thing (every night I worry, so far I’ve managed to remove the mice straight away)
- The exasperation that Norman seems to have learned (based on his naughty walk) that bringing animals, alive or dead, into the house is not allowed, so going for the neighbours dinner again. Last night (after the first mouse and before the second), he proudly brought in a complete pork chop.
Anyway, I think the stress test was flawed. I’m calm these days. Now I have to go, It’s 6.30pm and I’ve not had lunch yet because work was too busy to stop, I’ve got to get changed and then be at yoga for 7pm, work out how to run the training session I am scheduled to start at 8am tomorrow, stop panicking that if the train is late I won’t be there on time for the attendees, write and post a card so it catches the first post, write my shopping list so I can get that on the way home tomorrow as I’m out Thursday and Friday, find and iron some clothes for tomorrow, and find my ear plugs so that if next door decide to reconstruct the room which shares a wall with my bed again, I’ll actually get some sleep. See? Calm as a…sorry….no time to think of a word. Let’s go for calm as a …calm thing. :o)