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October 9, 2017: Stress is My Friend

I am still trying to wrap my head around this idea, one that was noted by Kelly McGonigal in a recent Ted Talk. She said that if you are stressed, that letting someone know this can release oxytocin, which is a drug that relaxes the blood vessels in your heart.

So I told Pete that I was stressed – not just about not being able to find my wallet, but also about having to go to the dentist. I don’t know how good this was – Pete is not a very empathetic guy. He sees things in terms of problems and solutions. This is just fine because otherwise we would be in a world of hurt around here. However, I was proud to have come to this revelation and articulate it.

I did not tell him that before going to the dentist that I did as Amy Cuddy suggests in her book Presence and imagined power poses and myself strong and brave and able to rise to the occasion of what was to come. Cuddy says that you must do this BEFORE you are dealing with the stressful situation. This really interests me because it involves imagining something that I am really interested in.

The dental visit itself – the seating in the new office was just awful – two wall couches joined together. I ended up doing some Bones for Life exercises and after I felt really good. I strode in behind the hygienist – sat in the chair – didn’t want x-rays but agreed to this after she told me that it had been 1 ½ years since I had my teeth cleaned.

The hygienist handing me the device that sucks the rinse water out of my mouth was – I told her – an action that gave me autonomy. It was true. I felt much better when I was allowed to determine when to rinse my mouth out.

I did not, during the cleaning, tense up or feel particularly anxious. I thought my teeth were cleaner than they were, so there were some instances when the poking did hurt. But I think that it would have been worse if I had been tense.

This is the clincher. The x-rays showed that I have two cavities, so I have to go back to the dentist. I decided to do this right away. This Wednesday seems a little soon, but as I told myself, then it will be over with. It’s going to be Groundhog Day all over again though. I am going through the same song and dance that I did today on Wednesday. I don’t want to do this, but it must be done.

Floss, brush, floss, brush, floss, brush – this is going to be my motto.

We don’t waste time around here. We got home, ate lunch. Pete gave the bees sugar water and I tended to the horses. Then he began turning the compost with the tractor. I was told that what we had did not have enough manure or water so I poured buckets of water and manure on the pile Pete was turning. I was, admittedly, just a bit stressed because I wanted to spend time with the horses rather than turn compost. I did manage to get Raudi and Tinni out on the trail, and I worked with Tyra and Hrimmi in the Playground.

Tomorrow we head to Anchorage for Bones for Life class. I am just a bit stressed out about this – because alas, I stress out about everything.

Next: 280. 10/10/17: A Conversation with Tyra fra Tuskast

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