I watched a documentary on Netflix on the subject of stress: Stress: Portrait of a Killer. It summarizes the research of a Stanford biologist, Robert Sapolsky who had studied the effect of stress on the body and longevity by observing a society of African baboons for decades. The study has targeted baboons because even though they are wild and aggressive, when it comes to stress they are very much like humans. It notes how stress has been vital in our survival in the wild and helping us being driven. Yet at this point in time we are under constant stress living the social life in this modern era and never able to turn it off. His findings show that the higher one is rank in one's society the less the level of stress related chemicals in the blood. This observation was validated by studying the high- and low-ranked workers in the British social works: how having higher control in what one is doing makes them less stressed and more productive. Moreover, it showed that being socially bound makes you less susceptible to low immune system. Then it summarizes another study on how chronic stress adversely affects one's longevity.
I then researched a bit on how to live a stress free life. Now.
Here is my plan of action:
Doing one thing at a time - in progress
Physician activity - continue with my biking and elliptical but also got myself a gym membership with a pool
Creativity with my hands - I yearn to sketch again ... haven't done anything about this yearning yet... I like to think of cooking as a creative activity
Be - with my family, with my life, with me
Yesterday I spent some time reading a new British novel with many new words and phrases for me like "bloke" while M and A were installing our new BBQ. I then went to my hairdresser and challenged her to give me a new haircut that is funky but easy to maintain. She cut a full bang for me. It is chick and I got lots of complimented afterward even though I myself am not too happy with the results. Yet it was fun. I planned my workouts for the week to come in my spare time waiting for my appointment and also chat with a friend. On way home I sang out loud with Ebi and Dariush and got home preparing for the dinner party we were hosting. It was lots of fun having friends over. I always like having company and this group of friends are really nice to hang out. M worked out a fantastic BBQ kabob for dinner and I took care of the rest. Finally we all sat down for 6 hours of Settlers of Catan, we got to bed at 5AM.
Now it is a lazy Sunday. I feel restless for a vacation. For some reason I am not looking forward to my workday tomorrow. It is so unlike me. I am not a kind of person who goes to work just because. Perhaps is time for some sort of change. I should really get on planning for a good week off work in the end of summer before A goes back to school.