The Existential Bakers Guide To Coping With Stress

DeadTopper

Stress is a most dangerous emotion no matter what religion you practice. I bet given enough time and the right person even the Dalia lama could lose it an be sent into a tirade. “You better hope I don’t see you in next life because Dalia Lama never forget face!” Why? Because stress is just the trigger for being really pissed off, the motivation to become a temporary mixed martial arts expert an unleash your fury on the on pissing you off. At that moment. But stress does other shit to us too, it alters us mentally, emotionally, an even physically in ways that are out of our control. Or is it?
Most of us, unfortunately, are all too familiar with the five steps of grieving. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. It takes a long time to reach the level of acceptance because when we lose someone we love very dearly it leaves a void that can never be completely filled but in order to continue living we find a way to manage the pain and the loss. So we go through the stages in order to cope with our loss. The same stages apply to stress.
Stress doesn’t leave a void but rather creates a spike in anger and frustration that raises the blood pressure and effects our overall health negatively. It can be dealt with in many ways, weed, xanax, vodka, primal scream all the way up to murder, which I personally don’t recommend. But the end result is the same as grieving, acceptance. Stress also involves that all too familiar five stage process and as an existentialist I have trained myself to go directly to the acceptance stage at the start, thereby decreasing the power the stressful situation holds over me. As an example I will use the very stress inducing situation of a traffic jam which causes many an over-extension middle finger injury as well as an unnecessary blinding road rage to fill the inside of your vehicle. I find it works best to just realize at the onset that I cannot control the jam, if I am going to be late all the screaming and middle finger waving in the world will not get me to be where I need to be on time.
The anguish riddled inconvenienced traffic negotiator goes through the five stages of stress. He comes upon the traffic jam and heads directly into denial. “Oh no, not now! This can’t be fucking happening, not today. God dammit this is not happening to me.” This often escalates rapidly to the anger stage in which the middle finger exercises its right to free speech, the head often takes to trembling, and the driver voices his opinion paying strict attention to the vocabulary he learned in the schoolyard not the classroom. “Are you fucking kidding me?? Pull the fuck up asshole! Move you piece of shit fucking worthless scum. Get off your god damn phone dipshit and move!!” Anger as an emotion is seldom in a hurry and loves to stay and visit so this stage will last quite a long time. Usually until enough yelling is done to satisfy the stressed out driver that every other driver on the road understands that their appointments pale in comparison to the depth of importance of the angry drivers schedule. But inevitably, once the face is full to the brim with angry throbbing blood vessels anger concedes to bargaining. “Oh my God if you make this traffic go away I’ll go to church every Sunday for a year. Maybe if I go this way I’ll save some time. There has to be an alternative route!” ……….. After all alternative routes have been exhausted and traffic is still laughing it ass off directly into the drivers face is when depression sets in. “God fucking dammit, why always me? Why do I always get stuck in this bullshit? What the Hell did I ever do to deserve this?” Finally the angry driver relents and accepts the fact that we live in a three dimensional world and cannot travel through the other cars but must obey the laws of physics governing that all things are made of matter and solid object such as automobiles and trucks are impenetrable without serious consequences. Once the driver has complete the first four steps, denied it will last, shouted every expletive in the known universe and begins foaming at the mouth, finished figuring out a way out of the mess, an fought back the tears of defeat he’s ready for acceptance. At this point he may begin forming and practicing his role as the apologetic late arriver. “I am so sorry I’m late the traffic was unreal, I swear I left in plenty of time but first there was construction, then an accident, and the traffic was relentless. I did everything I could to get here on time, I am so so sorry” or he may opt to just allow his anger to apologize for him, “I can’t believe this damn traffic, I swear there has to be a better way. If you have to go anywhere DON’T take the highway! Friggen traffic, what’d I miss?” Either way he allowed stress to ruin his day, or at the very least his morning.
I get that its hard, but with the practice and meditation it is existentially possible to convert this conundrum of traffic jam into a less stressful and perhaps even temporarily enjoyable ride. The existentialist knows he is going to face whatever consequences he must for being late, but only need to suffer them at the moment of impact with whomever it caused distress. Worrying about the consequence in the car merely prolongs the life of the consequence. Accept that even if existing there are and never have been any god or gods that would concern themselves in the slightest with your traffic plight. They would be far too busy keeping their promises to football players, baseball players, and boxers who have all petitioned them for a win. Accept the fact that no matter how you react, the vehicle in front of you will not simply go away. Select some favorite music, put in a CD,(EB recommends some Grateful Dead, or even some Traffic, ironically) adjust the interior temperature to a comfortable position and go with the flow, however slow. Amuse yourself by checking out the inflamed angry faces of other rivers who are stuck in the stage and far away from acceptance. Wave to them, blow them a kiss. It make them even more angry and stressed and the amusement you get will help you to forget you may be losing your job, or an account, or just en route to an enraged person at the other end of your trip. On the other hand, don’t mistake kindness for weakness because even though you may see an existentialist smiling, almost enjoying a traffic jam he is still just as fragile as the rest of the world and if you happen to push him too far…. I will kick the everloving shit out of you motherfucker!…. I mean, he will respond accordingly….Peace

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