I’ve been feeling very anxious lately – thoughts of impending doom and gloom strike me at all times of the day. It is irrational and unfounded and yet I can’t shake it off – sometimes life is just too much. I need a vacation badly but we have at least three weeks to go to Christmas when things will finally (and hopefully) slow down.

Stress is an interesting phenomenon. It was supposed to keep us alert so we could run to safety in the face of great dangers – starvation, hungry beasts trying to eat us, the cold. Today, all of these dangers have been successfully removed from most of our lives and yet our bodies continue to operate as they were genetically set up to do. It is so irrational and stupid to get your hurt pumping and palms sweating at the fear of missing your train in the morning. The next one is just 15 minutes later and nobody ever got eaten by a beast for being 15 minutes late. And so the rational self and the irrational self are constantly in battle.

Big picture, focus on the bigger picture, Natalcho. There are very few things in life that deserve the kind of panic state that I fall into. Health is really all that matters – everything else, my rational self tells me, is silly. I know, in my bones I know, that the things I worry about today are meaningless in the grand tapestry of my life. I will forget and will feel stupid in the future thinking back to these moments today when everything feels so exaggerated, every problem is the biggest problem ever.

So how to fight off stress – truthfully, it seems that denial works best for me once again. This week for example I felt so stressed on Thursday and Friday night that the only thing that seemed worth doing was sitting at home and feeling sorry for myself. Thankfully, we have met some wonderful people in Zurich who fill our nights with fun. And so despite my enormous need to feel like a victim we went to a dance show on Thursday night. We didn’t dance, we sat in the audience and yet music filled my heart with happiness and denial set in. Instead of focusing on my crap day I started fantasising about Saturday morning when I would get up and devote the entire day to learning the Thriller dance (this has been my plan for the last 300 Saturdays – I should really do this one day). My heart relaxed and anxiety let go of my tortured brain. A similar thing occurred on Friday night – I came home with such a strong belief in my impending failure (whatever that means…the irrational self never seems to go into the details of failure because she seems to know that thinking about the details takes failure apart and turns it into “meh, big deal if that happens, couldn’t care less”). Bugi hugged me tight for a good hour and then we went to a roller disco party. And let me tell you – a room full of people dressed like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, roller skates, good amounts of vodka and Thriller – best stress buster ever. By the end of that night I forgot all about my worries and sunk into a big fluffy rose cloud where I was the queen, Ombelico del Mondo.

I am tired, haven’t slept enough but my mind is preoccupied with good things and I have no time to worry. Worrying is such a waste of time but sometimes it is difficult to refocus, to find the bigger picture. And then Bugi hugs me, takes me by the hand and takes me to an 80s disco heaven. And all is good with the world.

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