Stress does funny things. The mental/emotional pressure from stress should qualify as a force like electromagnetic or gravitational, but physicists are hung up on things that affect the physical world. Still, stress is something that we can’t measure, can only gauge by feel, and it affects everyone differently. There have been times in my life where I’ve succumbed to illness because of stress. When I was younger I found myself regularly ill whenever the stress was too high.
As I’ve gotten older, that’s happened less and less. Either I’ve gotten better at coping with the stress, or I’ve built up a tolerance to it. Probably a little bit of both. I do know that I’m consciously trying to reduce stress in my life, and a big part of that is simply releasing it.
I’m not talking about letting go, though that can be part of it. I’m talking about not keeping it bottled in. It’s amazing what talking about stress can do, but that’s not the only avenue. Hobbies and other activities take stress away from us, and I find myself using a variety of means to make sure I keep my stress under control.
And as odd as it sounds, learning and research relieves some of my stress—if the subjects are ones I choose. So in that regard my writing ends up doing double duty so I can research climate patterns, bizarre weather phenomenon (like volcanic smoke rings), dark matter nebulae, sailing vessels, Central Asian mythology, and more to get rid of stress. I get to indulge my curiosity and wonder at how awesome the world, the universe, is.
And it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than doctors.