I spent one day up in Portland, walking around, enjoying coffee and random treats with a couple of very good friends, and then I came back home.  First thing this morning, two calls regarding bills.  Now I’m horridly stressed.  

What do I do to deal with the stress?  

Reaction #1: Almost take it out on my co-worker.  Luckily I was able to keep it in check, despite it all occurring during a conversation I already have difficulties dealing with.  That is, a conversation where my programming entries are reviewed for grammar, understanding, and readability.  It’s also a conversation that occurs to make sure I actually understand what I’m trying to explain.  That....was hard.

Reaction #2: Use my normal distraction tactic, watch a TV episode to get my mind of things so I can get back to work.  Although it does help me distract myself, it doesn’t always help me get back to work.  It can also leave me feeling less than able to do my job, once finished.  Needless to say, that wasn’t what happened.

Reaction #3: Go on a walk to the bank and deposit my check.  This may sound like the best option, but I know I’ll just start thinking about it more and stressing out about it on the way there.  It’s only a 10 minute walk, but it’s enough time to allow a mini freak-out session on the way back, which will mean only more stress and avoidance.  Instead I biked there, so that I wouldn’t have all the time to think about it.  That worked out better.

Reaction #4: Talk about my stress with my co-worker.  This will probably encourage both of us to continue to be stressed for another couple of hours, as we get over the stress about bills together.  So...not good.

Reaction #5: Bottle it up, because honestly, what other option sounds good right now?  I can either distract myself from the stress, or talk about it.  Both of those are probably not going to help with solving the problem.  However this allows for the negative effect of poor reactions/stressing issues for anything else that happens today.  Not to mention that any distraction tactic is simply going to end up bottling it up in the process.  I always bottle it up for a little bit.  

Where did this all come from?  My dislike of the breathing method to calm ones-self down.  I understand it’s for the prevention of gut-induced reactions that produce job-loss, and to calm yourself down, but it still seems such a simple way to deal with it.  So simple it feels like it never works for me.  Perhaps I have too much anger at this point in my life?  I don’t know...How do you deal with stress other than taking care of the things that stress you out?  Do you have other tricks that help you to recover when you become angry?