Top 11 Ways People Can Stop Being Stressed Out Freaks (or actions my friends take to dig themselves out of an out of control k-hole) Mar 9, 2014

by Eric Olson

After barely making it to Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People’s performance And lose the name of action, it took me a bit to collect myself and settle into the space. The set was beautifully minimal, consisting of clean, yet disorienting, projections and a large parachute hanging delicately from the ceiling, reminiscent of the ones I hid under on field day during grade school. After being instructed to hold on to the clammy hands of my neighbors, I was sucked completely into the performance. We were lead into a religious experience, well balanced with soulful melody, humor and a feeling of genuine devotion.

While the performance tightly wound itself until it burst chaotically, and then repeated the process, I couldn’t keep my eyes off each dancers unique movements and relationships with objects and each other. After being engulfed in these repeating actions, I asked myself how I handle myself in those chaotic moments, what actions do I do to bring myself comfort when I feel overwhelmed or out of control? 

Instead of answering it for myself, I decided to poll my friends and make a listicle about it.

“Top 11 Ways People Can Stop Being Stressed Out Freaks (or actions my friends take to dig themselves out of an out of control k-hole)”

11. “I stretch my arms out and upward. It's called "power posing" and decreased cortisol and raises testosterone, which helps decrease stress. You're supposed to do the power pose for at least 2 minutes, no breaks, which looks WEIRD, but it totally works!”

10. “stretch.  breathing exercises.  drink.  go for a bike ride.”

9. “I take my sweet, sweet time cleaning, reorganizing, and filing my personal crap.  What should probably take a couple of hours though ends up double the time given my obsession for detail and tendency for distraction, but I manage to derive some calm when I give my obsession and distraction an outlet.”

8. “How did you know that I was just listening to an audio recording all about this topic? 

Pay attention to my breathing
Notice what the bottom of my feet feel like
Ask myself if I am hungry
Call a very dear friend
Cuddle up next to my pooch, breath in his smell
Ask my sweetheart or a neighbor for a hug
Go for a walk
Open up a book on my bookshelf (usually an art book or a book on spirituality) to a random page and see if it gives me a guidepost or advice
Go for a run
Find a yoga class
Make a list
Listen to music
Play with my dog
Write, stream of conscious”

7. “Placing my hand on my heart and holding it there delivers notable effect very quickly. The key is to get over the initial sensation of silliness / embarrassment and keep with it until you feel close to it and "with it" in a raw, non-guarded way.”

6. “I cook, from scratch, and make something beautiful.  Ideally to share, but it works alone too.
I go on a long directionless walk by myself.
I go out to the garden and do something, whether it's weeding or clearing away dead leaves or twiddling at anything until I realize that I'm looking at insects and leaves and not thinking about myself anymore.”

4. “I run a scalding-hot bath and wait a moment for the water to cool, then I lay myself in the tub and let the water wash over my hair and face by sinking further and further into the water. ”

3. “Pace back and forth and tell people and tell people I can't have visitors because I'm too busy.”

2. “Do dishes or clean my house as needed...drink alcohol...masturbate...hold my hands really tight in front of my chest and avoid eye contact with people...take a bath” 

1. “eat sleep watch tv”