We make light of stress. We laugh about pulling all-nighters and living on coffee. Stress infests a culture of all go and no stop. Stress leads to heart strain and worn out adrenals and crippling hormonal imbalances. Stress leads to poor sleep, and little of it—which perpetuates the problem.
But there’s always so much to do.
This semester I deliberately cut way, way back on activities. Accumulated stress led to health issues I won’t elaborate upon here. Let’s just say it takes something pretty serious to make me want to slow down.
It’s been a long, hard four years. Four years of non-stop action. Late nights and early mornings. Bad food. Poor sleep. Little exercise. I look vastly different from the way I did when I began—and not in a good way either.
So how does one combat the effect of four years of debilitating stress?
Tonight, I laughed.
Not just a little chuckle. A deep, silly, unrestrained belly laugh. Nothing caused it but good company and a half-baked joke. And lying on my back, which always makes me laugh even harder.
I and three of my friends sat on a couch and laughed. We howled. Tears streamed from our eyes. Our stomachs hurt from the exertion.
Yet once we gasped enough air back into our spent lungs, we felt so much better. It was as if all four years or anxiety rolled away.
I should do that more often.