Frustrated_man_at_a_desk_(cropped) Stress – we all have it in our lives. Some stress can be good, it can push us to move and change. Lots of it can be bad and cause physical illnesses. I tell my dental patients that stress is a killer – it causes toxic chemicals to be spilled into our bodies and can destroy our immune system. Some stress can be a great motivator.

Stress was actually what started me writing romance novels. I was on our local school board, president of it, and we were involved in some very stressful contract negotiations that caused many long, late meetings. When I would get home, my story ideas seemed to swirl in my brain stronger than ever, preventing me from sleeping until I sorted them out and wrote them down. Writing helped me process what had happened during the meetings and spurred me on to write my first novel.

So, that’s what I call good stress.

Now, stress comes in the form of my deadline-binges-o-writing, pushing me to write, write, write and forcing the ideas and words out of my brain and onto the page.

And in neither of those situations did I ever feel that the stress is out of control. So, that’s good stress to me.

I could list the bad stressful situations in my life, but we all have them and you know what causes you stress. It’s made worse sometimes by our reactions.  Instead of dealing with it in a productive or effective manner, emotions go into overdrive and cause even more stress…. A vicious circle.

Lately, I’ve been taking some classes in Mindfulness Meditation and learning how to stop reacting to stressful situations. I have a long way to go though! LOL! It has been interesting, though a struggle sometimes to stay awake once I’ve begun practicing!



How about you? How do you deal with stress in your life? How do you relax? Reading a good romance novel? Share a stress-reduction tip and I’ll choose two to receive a hot-off-the-presses, not-even-on-sale copy of my April release – AT THE HIGHLANDER’S MERCY.



22 thoughts on “Dealing with Stress

  1. Shana Shana says:

    My daughter’s school actually has an anxiety-reducing group for the moms. But I’m too busy to go! Ha! I’m probably the one who needs to go. Deep breathing helps when you’re stressed and relaxing your shoulders. Also working out. I don’t like running, but it does de-stress me.

    1. Terri Brisbin says:

      Shana —

      LOL – you are exactly the one who needs it! But, as women and moms, we tend to overlook our needs and see to everyone else’s….

  2. Mozette says:

    Stress is a part of my life, but the way I deal with it now is a lot different to how I used to deal with it; which was not at all.
    In 2005, I took up Yoga and learned to get through the stress and breath through my tension. I Zenned through a lot of things and found that once I read ‘The Art of War’ life seemed more like a very, very slow game of chess than anything else. I took my battles one move at a time and sometimes sitting back and observing was the best move I could do ever.

    However, I also made time to just be.

    To do this, I needed to know something about myself: was I really happy. Stress has a lot to do with how happy you are – truly happy – because if you’re not happy in your life, stress will find a way in to destroy you. I found that I had lost my happyness and had to go and find it. This took time – a lot of me being on my own; which meant I had to be a little more selfish than I already was. I took a step back from my social life and found out exactly what made me happy. Once I did, my stresses almost vanished immediately, I slept better, ate better and lost weight (yep, it happens!).

    And what made me happy? Books, reading, collecting music on old vinyls/records and gardening as well as cooking from scratch and getting rid of takeaway food from my life completely. Yep, it was basicly very easy to make me happy… and it took me about 5 years to figure it out. 😉

    1. Terri Brisbin says:

      Mozette —

      Part of our practice is something they call “Stop. Breathe. Be” (though I keep thinking of ‘stop, drop and roll’ everytime I hear it! And that’s just what you do – you stop completely, take several deep, slow breaths and just be in that moment. It’s a great way to re-gather your focus, not just under stress but throughout the day.

  3. Laurie G says:

    I walk, swim, read and listen to music. They all take my mind off my worries for a short much needed break.

  4. Jo's Daughter says:

    When I feel stressed I do something fun. Forget the overflowing basket of laundry, who cares about the dirty windows… Let’s read a book or magazine. Bake cupcakes and eat them 🙂 Go shopping at a thriftstore, there might be treasures to be found. Or just put on some pj’s and watch a (fav) movie for comfort. It doesn’t always take my mind of things but doing something fun can stop me from going crazy.

  5. RobynDeHart RobynDeHart says:

    Reading works well for me, but I don’t usually have a lot of time to just sit and read for hours. Sometimes writing works, but often the writing is what’s causing the stress. HA! So then I have to look for alternatives. Being with my husband is a great way to wind me down, being with him calms me.

    Exercise always works, but I rarely choose that. Something I’m working on.

  6. eap says:

    If I start getting stressed I ask myself does this really matter? Most of the time the answer is no and the stress usually goes away. It works for the day to day stuff.

  7. Terri – like you, I started writing to reduce stress. That was back when I was an ICU nurse and I’d get home after a late shift and couldn’t sleep. Now, i take long walks and ride my recumbent bike (about 40 miles/week).
    Btw – I have a friend who teaches Mindful Meditation!

  8. Kathleen OD says:

    Reading is always a good stress reliever for me, and if my fav music is on, all the better.

  9. Quilt Lady says:

    I always read!

  10. catslady says:

    Practically from the time I learned to read, I used that to destress. There’s nothing like being taken away to different worlds to forgot about your own world. I read every day and if really busy, at least every night before going to bed. Getting together with friends and family to play games or just talk and laugh also helps!

  11. Marcy Shuler says:

    Reading works for me. I also do deep breathing (in through the nose, out through the mouth 😉 ) and take short naps.

  12. donna ann says:

    reading & getting lost in good book is always good but sometimes it’s hard to sit still & focus, then moving can help (just going for a short walk even), spending time (in person or on the phone) with family/friends can also be fun & relaxing (assuming they aren’t the stress reason of course) 🙂

  13. bn100 says:

    taking a walk

  14. Gail says:

    I have really reduced my stress since we adopted our dog. We both enjoy the long walks. I have also found that petting our dog has a calming effect. However, when she isn’t displaying her best behavior . . . well. . . I guess that’s when I need to stick to reading a good book.

  15. chey says:

    I take a walk or read.

  16. Stefanie D says:

    I take a nice hot bath or go for a walk with our dog when I´m stressed. That works fine for me.

  17. CrystalGB says:

    I relax by reading or watching movies. Both are great stress relievers for me. 🙂

  18. Barbara Elness says:

    My favorite way to relax is to become engrossed in a good book. I don’t think about anything but what’s going on in the story. Even if there’s conflict, it doesn’t faze me, I just enjoy the show. 😀

  19. Ann s. says:

    I love to read to relax, but honestly exercise really does work. As much as hate to admit it a two mile power walk works wonders for me. I never thought I would say exercise is good, lol.

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