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You can't stress enough the need to get far away - Odessa American: Ken Brodnax

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You can't stress enough the need to get far away

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Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 12:00 am

In the high-pressure world that has evolved over the past few decades, you tend to see more circles under eyes and run across more people who appear to be coiled springs, ready to fly apart at any time.

For a lot of these poor souls, stress is self-induced. They’re likely taking whatever duties they have too seriously.

Most of these folks will be the first to tell you that they don’t have time to work anything else into their schedules.

And yet, these are the same wound-tight individuals who need to find time — for perspective, for a breather and for their own sanity.

After creating your own personal pressure cooker, you owe it to yourself to discover ways to decompress.

You need an escape. You need a little quiet time. You need a hidey-hole. Call it what you will, you have to arrange your life so you’re not on edge all the time.

It’s an individual thing, for sure. Lots of hard workers already have a release. Some fish, and they really hope a fish doesn’t come along and spoil the moment.

Others go on grand vacations, which is nice at times. But they generally work so hard to get ahead before they leave that they have to use the first couple of days away to idle back. Then they start worrying so much about what faces them when they get back that they can’t enjoy the last couple of days of supposed relaxation.

So the secret is finding ways to kick the mind into neutral. You never really get away from the grind if you’re thinking about the rat race while you’re trying to escape it.

Maybe folks like this just need to be able to turn off the cell phone and not worry about checking voicemail every hour or so. How about every couple of days?

Another way to simmer down is to find a personal isolation booth. In that vein, West Texans have it good since there are a lot of wide open spaces where they can crawl in their vehicles, listen to a ball game, enjoy some of their favorite music or even plug an audiobook in the DVD player. This generally doesn’t work in urban areas because freeway traffic is not conducive to throttling back. But there are still rural highways where you won’t see a car very often and when you do, the other driver tends to wave at you.

And wouldn’t it be nice if airports came with nearby parking areas a safe distance from the runways so you would be able to kick back and watch the planes land and take off for a couple of hours? That would remind a lot of stressed adults of childhood pleasures.

Now admittedly, not everyone has this problem with constantly being on edge. Some workers just don’t care enough about their duties to even know the meaning of stress. They’re always in their little happy place, which tends to make the diligent workers even more nervous because it increases their workloads.

So maybe it would be beneficial for employers to build in a little break a few times each day for meditation. Learning how to imagine both irritations and irritants disappearing might be the ultimate pause that refreshes.

Odessa, TX

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