Stressbusters 101 (click to comment)

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How do you deal with stress? Recently I read of a New Zealander who had a small disagreement with a clerk at his bank. The next day the man returned to the bank with a brown paper bag, paid for a safety deposit box, and locked the bag in the box before leaving with a wide grin. The bag contained no money or valuables. Just a fish which was growing riper by the minute. Things went along just fine at the bank for the next forty-eight hours. Until the clerks began sniffing the air and customers looked at each other with questioning glances. Finally the bank had to be closed and the safety deposit boxes dismantled one at a time until they found the culprit.

A ‘stressed-out’ Oshawa woman was ordered to pay her neighbour $11,000 for subjecting her to 43 harassing acts over three years, including lobbing dead birds onto her property. “This is an extraordinary tale of neighbourly misconduct,” Justice John Sheppard said in a judgment. Anne Rudka engaged in an “unbelievable and outrageous” campaign against her neighbour. The incidents included “keying” Rathmann’s car; leaving a note laced with expletives; lobbing eggs onto the property; leaving letters commenting on Rathmann’s clothing; placing numerous hang-up calls; pouring acid on the husband’s car; trying to set fire to their fence and spray-painting it gold; spraying their dog with Varsol—a paint thinner; threatening to contact Revenue; and using a dog whistle to harass their pets.

Stress, these ladies would agree, is rarely a funny thing. “I handle stress very well,” Martha Bolton once told me. “Of course, I’ve been in the bathtub since last Sunday night.” I hope that you’ve mustered up the courage to climb out of your bathtub today. And that you’ve discovered some useful stress busting secrets of your own. I’ve found that prayer helps. During a particularly stressful time in my life I sat down and wrote out this prayer:

Lord,
Keep me from over-estimating
my own importance in the grand scheme of things.
Remind me that Jesus took time:
To hold small children on His lap,
To sleep in a boat,
To withdraw from the crowds.
And still He changed the world.
Thank you that your yoke is easy
and your burden light.
Lead me beside still waters.
Restore my soul.
May I draw my strength from You,
And spend my life bringing your peace
to others.
Amen

Is this your desire today? I certainly hope so. Of course, there are other methods to blow off extra steam. Why just this afternoon, I bought a ripe mackerel, and slipped it into my wife’s pajamas.

Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

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