Lessons I’ve Learned: Back in 1994 on a Sunday afternoon, I thought I was having a heart attack. I had a meeting to host in a short while and I started feeling something strange in my chest. I felt my heart was acting weird. I felt bloated in my stomach. I thought I was going to pass out. Panicked, I had my wife drive me to the emergency room where I was admitted under the category of “rule out a heart attack.” They hooked me up with countless wires and by the next day informed me it was not a heart attack. I had had an “anxiety attack” which can mimic a heart attack.
In my follow up appointment with my physician, he recommended I find a counselor or therapist so I could better handle the stresses of my life. I ended up taking a course on relaxation, which seemed almost humorous at first.
All my life, I thought, I had excelled at relaxation. I loved times of relaxation. My problem, I thought, was not a failure to relax, it was finding the motivation to get my work done. The anxiety attack proved me wrong. It proved I knew how to get worked up over projects. What I didn’t know was how to relax from the stresses in my life.
So I paid close attention when it was suggested that sometimes people don’t realize when they are stressed, that we all need to pay attention to signs of excess stress and learn how to cope with them. These were some of the things I heard in the class: A) tell yourself the stress-causing situation has an end to it. Things will not always be as hectic as they are at present, B) take time to quiet yourself down and just focus on breathing and nothing more, C) You are a mountain and can stand up to anything, D) when you are relaxed you are a more formidable opponent than when you are tense, E) look at life with baby eyes, see things as though for the first time and be in awe of life.
I tried one of the suggestions when I retrieved my lawn mower from the service shop after an inordinate amount of time for its repair. I calmly told the man I was there to pick up my lawnmower. My tone and demeanor told him I was serious. And I calmly went through the whole encounter.
The season we are in can be very hectic. But underlying it all is the idea of listening to the stories and enjoying times with others. When we are relaxed we find inner peace to enjoy these special times of our lives.