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By Icoy San Pedro

IF ONE doesn’t watch out, anything that bogs you down will, after a time, control you and eventually define what you are. No horror movie this, but for purposes of context, studies say eight out of ten stressed people will noticeably exhibit bouts of being grumpy at any given time. (we used to credit this to the pressures of our dog-eat-dog world, right? But alas, in this now-politically correct world, the expression has become unfair to dogs. As if they care.) 

The results of the said study is not at all surprising, it’s almost common sense, even. What would rather be interesting however, would be to actually find out the status of those remaining two people who, despite being stressed are still cool enough to mask it. Might be difficult to do though. That might even be the topic of a new study right there. 

Fact is, the expression “I’m okay” has been uttered around so much among clearly-stressed people, it might as well circumnavigate the world like Dora and Magellan, but that’s just making light of a real problem. Everyone has a weight or weights to carry around. Unless you’re not of this earth, the condition just seems to go naturally with the specifications (sans any enclosed manual) at being human.

Being part of the given that no one is stress-free, is it therefore necessary to imagine situations that might prove stressful even before they pop up? I’ve an Aussie-Fil first time mom who constantly gripes to us her close friends about perceived sudden demands of baby care, in relation to lesser freedoms. Out there (‘down under’ might be weird sounding), having a nanny is mighty expensive so that one has to be hands-on) and she texts it’s her the option left her, no going around it. At this, I was at first tempted to offer not only suggestions but a sharp critique of the situation she was in and the one she imagines herself to be in. But I meekly write down, count your blessings.

Lest I totally forget about it, the fact that I held back will definitely create a little stress ripple to start living inside me. In turn, who knows, it might in the future have little (or whatever) impact on my dealings with our friendship. You get the drift. I promise to say my piece when the time comes, as a consolation. 

To end, it won’t really matter what life throws in our direction. It’s bound to be like that always. What’s more important is separating the real stressors from the imagined ones our minds create out of our fears and anxieties. On the part where the ‘count your blessings’ portion comes in, first look at the people around us. There will always be those whose problems are far worse than our own. If you’ve still difficulty wrapping your head around it, take out a piece of paper and pen. Then literally write down all your blessings. Look back at your load. Repeat. 


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