I’ve seen a lot of articles on Eustress over the years, the positive form of stress. Don’t get me wrong. My intent is not to dismiss them out of hand, or at all. They provide some wonderful tools and perspectives, some brilliant. I haven’t linked any here. You can kneel to The Google Oracle for that. They’re mostly valid, some brilliant and ground-breaking, though for the most part, I don’t think they really get off the ground or dive deep to get past the surface. Again, no slam. Just me expressing that I think there’s a blind spot in regards to stress.
From my perspective stress is not a problem In the 1st place. It is simply an often over-used buzzword that now borders on crisis–mongering, attention-getting slang, instead of KEEP GOING. Keep rockin’ your gig. Oh Jordan! Stop being so specific. You and your semantics are just SOME ANTICS. Stress, stressful. What’s the diff?!
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug, the lady and the ladybug. ~ Mark Twain
Stress is not the actual issue From my perspective. Stress is simply a force applied. It’s Strain that’s the driver as I see it. Strain can be deformation, cause something to be bent, make an indelible influence. I don’t believe you can have stress. It’s a potential influence, certainly real, though it’s IF stress affects or influences you that that I question. I don’t think you can have stress. If affected or influenced by stress, it is not stress anymore. It is strain.
Damage Versus Influence
I think you can experience stress or stresses. Though, if the force stresses you such that you don’t bounce back to form, then it’s not stress you have. It’s strain. I firmly feel you can have strain. That’s what I feel most people are referring to when speaking about stress. Most have the concept they experience right on the money, though just the wrong word to pair with it.
It can be difficult to sort out the signal from speedy, newsfeed noise and head-chatter-inducing static driven by the false sense of urgency of media and the amount of information we encounter even in a single minute. That in itself can put you in a heightened sense of trauma. And, then in that vulnerable state, you are fed highly repetitive, psych-slang of stress... among other misinformed things.
The secret to getting ahead is getting started. ~ Mark Twain
Vulnerability is the birthplace of courage. ~ Brene Brown
Adversity doesn’t build character. It reveals it. ~ James Lane Allen
The arrows above indicate the stress or stresses, the force(s) applied.
Structural Psychology (my words to reflect Structural Engineering as I see it applicable to Psychology… not the Psych professions version)
I take a Structural Engineering view of psychological stress. Stress is simply a force applied. Strain is the gig worth exploring. ~ Jordan Hoggard
The thing stressed bends or moves or deflects, and when the stress is removed, it returns to its original form. Strain is when that stress pushes something past its elastic limits, past the memory limits of the material or identity. And, when the stress is removed, it doesn’t return to its original form. There, strain has occurred. Permanent deformation. Indelible, or poignantly present influence.
Influence is not inherently good or bad, though I feel it important to discern the what of what has occurred. The material or person that is bent or dented or marked or influenced in some permanent, indelible way — at least until replaced if a material, or as a person you psychologically address it — it’s your call whether by yourself or with a Psych Pro. I certainly don’t intend psychological advice. I’m not a licensed Psychologist. I’m a layman who has a noggin’, and I consider myself qualified for life with it.
Are You Qualified for Life
Openings, Forces Applied to Self
Eight forces sustain creation: Movement and stillness; Solidification and fluidity; Extension and contraction; Unification and division. ~ Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido
As soon as as you concern yourself with the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weakens and defeats you. ~ Morihei Ueshiba
With Your Presence As Architecture, How Do You…?
How does a building stand on the ground?
How does it extend to the sides?
How does it open and close?
How does it reach for the sky?
~ Four existential questions about Architecture from Christian Norberg-Schultz. How can you apply them to yourself:
(Invisible, unseen, how stable is your foundation? How strongly are you rooted?)
How do you stand on the ground?
How do you extend to the sides?
How do you open and close?
How do you reach for the sky?
Perspective, Stability, Power
I see stress as being what you make of it, how it influences you, and/or how you do or do not allow it to influence you.. If your perspective is born of healthy boundaries and comfortability in your own skin, then trees with strong roots needn’t fear intense winds applies. or storms make oak trees take deeper roots.
With healthy boundaries, one is naturally aware of their strength and theirs strengths, and not prone to even flinch, but to experience, or DUCK! — like this Rock of Gibraltar Lighthouse is unmoved in the stormy ocean without any thought or will. It just is. Proudly, with no hubris. Simply is, itself grounded strongly in context. How do you design and develop and train yourself to be like this lighthouse regardless of the intensity of the forces present in your surroundings?
This lighthouse is simply stable, comfortable with itself in context. Stands there in powerful witness, might not even notice, just enjoy the intense foam and spray, like a welcomed massage session, or listening to music. I
I first suggest, especially with questions, to listen to others as if their voice is music. Do you want to immerse in it? Let it go to a wonderful and driving 11?! Do you want to change the channel, or click OFF? Take it from there. See if the technique is both natural and easy, and secondly whether it’s effective for you. Listen to people as music. Where does that go for you?
And, the lighthouse. Even during the most intense storms. It is a beacon to those out at sea, a beacon to help them navigate their storms, so they can wash up on the beach refreshed once the storm has broken rather than breaking them.
Sometimes, people get their hackles up when asked a question. Expecting to be scolded — nascent trauma memory from childhood/the past being triggered? — or expecting to take a hit actually or metaphorically, and/or expected now to do something, maybe that they don’t want to do? So many possibilities and permutations there. Understand, though, every question/comment/request is urgent to the asker. I suggest to not assume urgency, or anything for that matter, especially if they don’t couple their ask with a timeframe. That’s asking you to do their scheduling. Simply put, inspect your expectations. Inspecting your expectations helps mitigate blind spots, assists to be able to listen more fully.
Duty in the World Community
I find it to be our duty to ourselves to be that tree in the wind, the Rock of Gibraltar Light House unmoved by a stormy and powerful ocean around it, simply listen Fully to questions asked to us, in powerful witness. Then, take YOUR time with your response or non-response. You are not the asker, so the ask may not even be something you would even entertain with your priorities intact. Stand there, and when the storm or high wind or potential influence passes, when the question is complete, is has/is. Take your time to feel into your response, especially if the asker is poke-prodding implying a false sense of urgency. Lack of planning on your part will in no way constitute an emergency on mine. I suggest you plan better.
Before you respond to a question, question the question to yourself so you acclimate to it. How did the question feel? Is the person delegating within reason. Are they abrogating, or in other words being lazy smoking the narcotic hope that someone will complete their responsibility? Are they asking for advise, perspective, wisdom. Mundane? Large? As many kinds of questions as there are people to ask them.
Sometimes there’s not even any reason to respond to a question or a stress, except to discern whether it begs a potential priority to be established on your part, or a response. And, if so, what degree of urgency, if any, is it given? It’s like noticing the weather. This isn’t a harsh or cold and insular and disconnected way of interacting. It trains people how to treat you and trains how well you care to care for yourself. And, if it’s their stuff, to take care of it themselves with just two eyebrows up and pursed lips with no words in response. Always put the onus of responsibility on the asker to find out for themselves first, if they are able. Many people I know, though, are simply curious and asking a question. That’s an invitation to engage in conversation, which most times I full-on dig.
I would ask, instead of stress, how do you clearly experience the weather of Nature or weather of events or people around you? Initially, how are you influenced? Do you react out of hand, jump to respond startled and quickly? Do you powerfully whole-mindbodybeautiful listen completely until they have finished, and give the question Silence and a place to open up and expand between the two of you?
Sometimes people solve their issue right there in front of you while they are working the stress out as if it’s TO you. Sometimes in the asking of the question, the person is saying the thought out loud for the 1st time, and in so doing run the process through, and at the end of their question, their head pops up with a smile. Nevermind. Just got it. It brings a smile when I see someone do that, work out their question right there in front of you.
There’s a certain, sacred, Oracle quality to interpersonal connection from my perspective. And, sometimes only one person needs to speak. Like you go to the “Oracle” of a friend to ask a question. They are stable and quiet, and fully listen. They simply provide you a wonderful mirror, in safety, where Your words not mine smiles into play.
This Friendship Oracle, as I began to call it while penning this blog, also makes it unnecessary to discern whether there is potential danger of Psychological Projection or Projective Identification to watch out for. (Yes, I ended a sentence in a preposition… we have a response for that in Texas… re-end the sentence to some with an expletive). You’re not required to respond except by yourself.
In the case of PP or PI may I suggest the following response: (Do not respond, don’t become ensnared or entangled in the Tar Baby), or Your words not mine. I’m glad you can describe yourself so aptly. Good for you! (In a happy tone, no conflict engagement, though no taking it on, either).
If you have a Narcissist or Sociopath on your hands, the best way I find to argue with them? Just don’t. Walking away is a complete sentence there, and a last sentence as you re-prioritize your placement to move yourself to safety. Nevermind their follow-up chatter in your wake where they spill the beans of PP and/or PI with shaming and vitriol. They just attempted manipulation, and your stable mirror of that Light House can reflect it all right back where it should be. In them.
After their feign, their sweetie-pie lie to lure you in, they out themselves to boot. You might even have an ablution cascade of tingles flow through your body full-on pleased and proud of yourself When you walk away, viscerally feeling how much you did the kind thing for yourself. No hubris. Just feels good.
Realistically, though, from my experience — and I’m sure there are PLENTY of exceptions — this type asks very few questions, if any at all. Questions imply interest, and that in itself speaks volumes about them, and how to maintain safe passage navigating away from them. I‘ve experienced them most often leading in with a psychological rib-spreader knife, just opening with some kind of shaming statement to try and appeal to some inner guilt. Not playing. They open with that play, and the play ends. Exeunt stage left to transform them… into Ex.
Another response I remember using, and of course I might as well have detonated a bomb… You’re a great Angler Fish, though not a very good fisherman. At least drop the hubris and pay your Inner Electric Bill to get the light thingee turned on for that dangly thingee. Your brightness is supposed to come from within, NOT gulp others’ to your within.
How Do You Experience?
How do you experience the weather of things you experience around you? Can you tune to your signal and discern more for what resonates with you from your perspective? I hope de-personalizing experience into weather can give you a better handle, and improve the strength of owning and healing places where you may hold your grace hostage. I hope you tune into You As Only You Can Be.
How Can You?…
How can you brighten yourself? How can you train your innate talents into developed abilities? How can you do this in ways that enhance your natural intensities to make yourself more of who you are? I suggest to dose yourself with something good about yourself. Meditate not about a problem. Try meditating fully immersed in something wonderful about yourself. See what happens.
If you stop to address every barking dog along the way, you’ll never get anywhere. ~ Winston Churchill. He was on quite a journey, huh?
What’s Your Weather Response?
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