Day 508: Stress, anybody?

Stress is another word I have NOT used in titles of any of the preceding 507 posts I’ve written here.

The amount of stress I have about that, on a scale of 0 – 10?  0.

Sometimes, when I am pronouncing a name or a word I’m not familiar with, I’m not sure which syllable to stress.

The amount of stress I’ve had about that, on a scale of 0 – 10?  Let’s see.  How should I calculate this?  Well, I’ve felt SOME stress about mispronouncing things in my life, definitely. The stress number is higher at times when I’m pronouncing somebody’s name (I really like getting people’s names right). When I was younger, I think the number was higher in situations where I didn’t want to appear  ignorant or provincial in front of people I thought were more sophisticated than me. So how do I calculate a stress number in a situation where  (1) it was worse in the past, (2) I still feel stress in the present, every once in a while, and …

Okay.  This whole scale of 0 – 10 thing?  While I think it can be useful, to quantify feelings or experiences, I sometime stress out about doing it. Why?  Because it can be difficult to translate those things to numbers.

And treaters — including doctors, nurses, and therapists — DO ask that question, like so:

How would you rate that (anxiety, stress, pain, exhaustion, discomfort, depression, etc.) on a scale of 0 – 101?

I was asked a form of that question twice, recently — when I was hospitalized for pneumonia and then before I returned to work.  And in both situations, I started my answer with this:

I never know how to answer that kind of question.

Eventually, I did come up with a number. Then, I had these thoughts about the number:

I wonder if I’m doing this correctly?

I wonder if I’m communicating clearly, in a way that’s going to be helpful for me and the person who asked the question?

I wonder if other people struggle with this?

And I did feel some stress about that.

How much?


Anyway, I could list other stress-related memories and thoughts, right now, and try to communicate in a useful way about them, but I need to get ready to go to the hospital.

Hmmmm.  I actually haven’t communicated clearly what I need to do this morning, since I work at a hospital AND I get medical care at a hospital, too.

I shall be as clear as I can, right now, about my day:

  • At 9 AM, I am getting a stress test, to gain information about how my very unusual heart is reacting to physical exertion these days.
  • At 10:15 AM (approximately), I am receiving the results of my sleep study from March (which I blogged about — in a way people seemed to enjoy — here and here).
  • At 1:30 PM, I need to be back at work, because I’m scheduled to meet with somebody who is interested in joining  my therapy groups.

How much stress do I have about all these things?  Well, I don’t have time to rate, calculate, convert, compare, or otherwise quantify it.  I know there’s stress about this, somewhere.  And some of that stress might be “healthy stress.”

And I don’t have time to define “healthy stress, ” either.

I think it’s time for one of my “antidotes.”

I have all the time I need.

Here’s another one:



Also, when I was looking for that old photo, above, in my media library here, I found several more that helped reduce my stress. Here are a few of them:

IMG_3184 IMG_3235 IMG_3189


Okay!  This post is now good enough AND I can make it better.  How? With some photo(s) I’ve taken recently that would fit, well enough.

Do I have time to do that?  Sure, as long as I don’t write any captions, but just present the photos, like so:




How’s my stress level now?  Well, it’s not zero, because — before I leave — I still want to (1) express gratitude at the end of this post, (2) add some links (even though I think most people won’t click on them), (3) do a spell check, (4) check for typical pre-publishing glitches, (5) publish this, (6) find all the different clothes I need for today’s various activities, and (7) leave with enough time so I’m not rushing (even though I probably won’t feel ready to leave).

So I have some stress, but … maybe it’s the healthy kind!

Thanks, everybody.2

1  Sometimes, the scale is 0 – 100.  Does that make it less (or more) stressful? Not for me.

2 For reading, etc.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , | 38 Comments

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38 thoughts on “Day 508: Stress, anybody?

  1. I like the on the scale of 0-10 questions where pain, stress, etc., is concerned. It may not be equal across the board but it gives insight to where the person is on their own tolerance scale and that’s what the professionals want to know, right?
    Good luck and very little stress during your very busy day Ann.

    • Craig

      “Just taking the posture of meditation, sitting up, arouses energy and confidence. It’s a gesture of bravery, a silent proclamation of fearlessness: we commit ourselves to working with any state of mind that arises – sadness and excitement, boredom and joy, fear and desire. They’re all welcome, fundamentally welcome.”

    • I agree that the numeric scale can be very useful and I’ve witnessed that, for sure. Thank you for providing that helpful balance, Diana (as you often do).

  2. Good luck with your stress test (and stress), sleep test (and sleep) and meetings with new people today.

    I will try to remember to love people and cook them tasty food today. (Last night’s Ginger Pear Root Vegetables dish didn’t turn out all that well, but I think I’ve got something better planned for today.)

    • Ginger, pear, and root vegetables all sound great to me, right now. I will add that to the luck you gave me with this comment to proceed eagerly with the rest of my day (2 tasks accomplished, at this point).

  3. Thank you for this, Ann. Another great post. Love, Amy

  4. Stress is a slippery slope because the mere mention of it, thought of it, hint of it, whisper of it, may add to it for somebody who is being measured for the effects of it. It’s the great white-coat blood-pressure conundrum, in my book. My doctor reports my diagnosis of high blood pressure. Every sight of a cuff and stethoscope thereafter raises my blood pressure.

    I hope all of your test results today came out with results to either the 1 or 10 side of the scale, depending upon which end is the best end, Ann.

    Happy Memorial Day Weekend.

  5. I’m with you — having to grade my level of anything always creates a stressful response of… am I doing it right? 🙂

    Silly stress.

    Yes. Breathing is the best antidote!


    Hope you have a stress-free test, and rest
    of your day.

    • The stress I had today was definitely bearable. Also, reading this comment, during the day, was just what the doctor ordered. Thanks, Louise!

  6. Thanks for the wonderfully stress-reducing post. I give it a 10. 🙂

  7. I especially like it when doctors ask to rate your pain level from 1-10. Really? If I’ve never experienced a 10, how would I know if I’m at, let’s say, a 5 or 6? Just sayin’ 🙂

  8. Stay stress free and I love the pictures, treat for my eyes 🙂 and obviously stress releasing

  9. Thank you so much for the stress-busting visuals! I was just looking out of the window at torrential rain and feeling stressed because I know I’ll have to walk the dogs in it – looking at your photos of trees and blue skies has brought the level down a bit.

    • Thanks for letting me know about the stress-reduction power of this post, which I truly appreciate, Annabelle.

  10. I sympathise with stress over the 0 to 10 question. I remember having an almighty pain (gall bladder attack) at work, I fainted and the First Aiders called an ambulance (after which I was sick all over them). While I was trying to gather myself together the paramedics were asking the 0 to 10 pain question. My mind was in a decision making hotchpotch with childbirth versus pinpricks at war with a desire not to appear a wimp and the need to tell them something sensible and helpful. I tried to focus on all the kind faces around me and thought that at least my brain must still be working if I could worry about the answer. As my work involved a lot of pressing people to fill in questionnaires, I hope this experience made me more helpful to them.

    • What a frightening-sounding experience, Hilary! I’m noting how you focused on the kind people there (which I can really relate to) and how you learned something to help you be more help to others. I’m so grateful you wrote this today.

  11. I do take too much”stress” for everything .I dont know how to deal with it .
    Ann , your post is as always very nicely written . Wish you a stress-free day 🙂

  12. Pingback: Day 509: Like, now | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  13. 0? Do you have a pulse? 🙂

  14. I do hope your stress test went well and that you are able to maintain your low level of anxiety. I think worry and anxiety leads to stress, and sometimes it’s very difficult to shut out anxious thoughts if we have a health concern. That’s probably my Achilles heel in the worry department–my health, or someone I love. But I do know that talking about my stress only increases it. 🙂 You seem to have the right idea. Keep it up!

    • Thanks for this insightful, helpful comment. It’s always wonderful to see you. And I hope that you and those you love are well.

  15. Pingback: Day 521: Timing | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  16. Pingback: Day 1215: Stress | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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