Monday, 25 May 2009

Desperately seeking serenity?

We all know that stress is a bad thing. If it gets out of control, it’s a VERY bad thing. Problem is, most of the time we don’t know it’s out of control until it’s too late. And then we have to desperately seek ways of achieving some degree of serenity to get back on an even keel.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to flip. I’ve just been doing some thinking about all things new-agey and how to achieve that balance of yin-yang, ping-pong and the hokey-kokey.

Part of me feels that stress has had a bad press. After all, if we didn’t have at least a little bit of stress to push us along, we’d never get ANYTHING done, would we? It’s that ‘positive stress’ that gets the bills paid, deadlines met, pushes us out of bed in the morning. It’s the kind of stress that gets things done - and when everything is right with the world, we’re in charge.

But it’s an unpredictable beast with a nasty habit of turning into a monster without a moment’s notice. That’s when we lose control and find ourselves spiralling helplessly down into a vicious circle of panic. We’ve all had those moments of uncontrollable fear or dread with no apparent cause. It’s all part of the human condition, they tell me. The trick is to achieve a ‘balance’ (back to old yin-yang again).

Now, I know that what I am about to say is tantamount to heresy, but I just don’t get the whole yoga/meditation thing. Believe me I have tried it, but the main thought in my head when I finished was – ‘BORING!’.

And as for emptying my mind, what’s that all about? I spend years at school trying to fill my head up and now I’ve got to get rid of it all? Yeah, right!

I mean really, just HOW can anyone empty their mind? I tried it, and though I managed to expel thoughts of work and traffic jams, the piles of washing waiting to be done kept popping into my head.

I guess I must not be a very enlightened individual, but the yoga/mediation thing is clearly not for me. I’m sure I am missing out on some very deep spiritual experiences, but to be honest, that’s OK. We can't all be Mahatma Gandhi.

Taking a long walk on a glorious spring day, losing myself in music, having a really long hot shower, enjoying a laugh at the silliest things with good friends – that’s what works for me. That’s what keeps me on the level and in control.

There’s probably more to it, but I haven’t found it yet.

I’m open to suggestions, so ‘Answers on a postcard please’….


  1. The perfect cake... that can help stress considerably!

  2. Ah yes, but sadly that's another story (or another blog post) and in itself a source of some of the stress. Vicious circles & all that!