At some point in life, everyone is bound to undergo an amount of stress so much that they often feel like there’s a world wide conspiracy to make their lives hell. People will therefore do all sorts of things to escape this stress. Some will withdraw from the rest of the world, others will simply take to the bottle (not the milk bottle but the beer bottle) and others will opt for sleeping pills, to sleep off the stress. Overall, it can be agreed that we all would love to live stress-free lives.
Often times, the stress we undergo can actually be avoided. The trouble is that there is no manual for this thing called life. You never really come across a ‘How-To’ book detailing how you can live out your life without instances of stress. That said, there are a few tit-bits that you will come across that might point you in the right direction.
I often try to take some time to come up with recommendations for life and while some may be plain bogus and meaningless, others are actually quite insightful; for instance the recommendations I am about to make. Now before you start expecting a psychiatric rant about how to eat well and sleep well to avoid stress, I want to make it clear that my recommendations are not in any way endorsed by medical practitioners, religious leaders or political experts. They are simply recommendations from an innocent dude looking to share insight with friends.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you – how to avoid stress!
1. Abandon expensive gadgets
Almost everywhere you look, there is either someone caressing a fat shinny iPad or molesting an attractive touch-screen phone. What you will see is a smart, confident and seemingly rich person with an expensive gadget. What however you will not see is that they are probably trying to switch off the expensive gadget to save the battery or they are wondering where all the airtime has disappeared because this touch-screen seems to swallow MBs at a strange pace. Too much stress if you ask me. Why not eliminate this stress by moving a step back to the old school gadgets that didn’t require Foursquare check-ins or mobile application updates? Why not roll back to having the Black and White TV that didn’t require HD or WideScreen or God-Knows what other screen type? One will probably argue that since this is 2013, we ought to live like we are in the future. Well, if the future entails stressing about the latest Samsung gadget or the most attractive iPhone application, then surely the future is not a good place to be in. For those who love technology (myself inclusive) it would be an abomination to think about old school technology. However, if you are going to stay up late at night waiting for the latest HD technology to be released, maybe you should think about abandoning technology all together.
not the real thing …. but close enough
2. Avoid letter writing as much as possible
The past few weeks in Uganda have seen the word ‘letter’ meet plenty of raised eyebrows. The word has been battered, smothered, tortured and basically besieged by Ugandans. In the past, a letter was just something you wrote to someone you wanted to pass a message to but you were somehow hindered by distance or by their bad breath. Also, a letter was often signed off with “Yours sincerely” or “Yours in love”. Today however, a letter is more than just an innocent piece of writing between two people; it is now a source of unending debate. A letter is now met with plenty of skepticism and if you are unlucky; your action of sending or receiving a letter may be grounds for your home or work place to get invaded and practically owned by the cops. If you are terribly unlucky, you might even be out of a job for a couple of days. Load of stress! I say, stay away from letter sending and receiving. The next time someone sends you a letter, invoke the ‘return-to-sender’ clause and have it sent right back from whence it came! You do not want to get mixed up in stressful situations so stay away from anything that has to do with a letter.
3. Get a Little humour in your life
In my opinion, humour and satire are some of the most effective ways to do away with stress. I personally subscribe to the school of thought that suggests that people who live longer are not the ones who eat and drink well; the people who live longer are the ones who laugh the most. This means that if you can get some laughs in your otherwise tight schedule, you my friend are bound to live longer. If you are surrounded by dull and boring people, create the humour yourself. Pull some practical jokes on your mates. If you work in a place that never has laughs, take it upon yourself to create the laughs. Fart right in the middle of the board meeting, send your boss a sleazy text message, burn down a section of the office, download a chunk of Porn and leave it playing on everyone’s PC when they are out for lunch, basically do something to have a laugh. It doesn’t matter whether the rest of the office does not find it funny; what matters is that you are cracking up somewhere in the bathrooms. It would be even more helpful if you were the boss. Call up a random employee and demand that they dance for you or get sacked. You could make it even a tad funnier by introducing days like “Bring a Bottle of Wine to work Monday” “Bring Your Ex to Work Tuesday” “No Bra Wednesday” “T-shirt Thursday” and “Flirty Outfit Friday”. Have these days observed to the paper or else employees face a demotion or legal action from the company. If you are a junior employee, fill the suggestion box with threats about raping your boss’ wife, send random emails of “penis enlargement” to the Human Resource department, tag the Accounts office folks in a Facebook post about oppression. I can guarantee that if you do one of (of all of) these things, you will be the furthest person from stress.
4. Avoid Relationship Madness
One of the leading causes of stress amongst human beings is relationships. People go through way too much stress just so they can have the right kind of relationships. It is no question that women fake orgasms to have relationships while men fake relationships just to have orgasms. Instead of going through all this stress, why not just be true to yourself? Ladies, if the guy is a total bore in bed, let him know. Yawn, every now and again or ask him if he knows what he is doing. Let him know that he is totally sending you to sleep with his fidgeting and tussling meant to seem like sex. That way, he will know not to call himself “the Lion of the Jungle” in front of his friends. And gentlemen, let her know from the word Go that you are in it only for the sexual romp. Tell her the truth and save yourself the stress of having to spend endlessly just to try and get into her pants. Experts at human relationships will claim that having a partner will help you do away with a lot of stress. Who said that it always has to be a person? Can’t someone have undying love for their cat, PS3 or vibrator? The point is, these items will most probably not want to hurt you while pretending to love you. They will not stress you in any way. In my opinion it is probably a more worthwhile relationship than the other one you are trying to fake the other side.
There’s no chance that this Teddy bear will want to stress the little girl
5. Just Be Ugandan
I have personally come to the conclusion that to avoid stress, all you have to do is be Ugandan. Obviously if just like myself you were born Ugandan, you my friend already have a head start. If you weren’t born Ugandan, find a way to either get citizenship or simply tag along with Ugandans. Ugandans are the one lot of people who will love you to death one minute and totally ignore you the very next minute; they have no time for stress. We have very many one-hit-wonders in Uganda because here when people love you, it’s for real but the moment you bore them, they move on; swiftly by the way. Once upon a time, Ugandans loved Congolese Music. And then they discovered South African music. Shortly after that, there was euphoria over Bongo music. Not too long after that, Ugandans started hitting the studios as well. Today, we have more upcoming artists than citizens; that is how the trend catches on here. They take to something and squeeze all the juice out of it before gently moving onto something else that will totally blow them away, for another short while. Ugandans have no time for stressful things. Even if you are Micheal Ezra and you are flashing around dollars and blank cheques, these Ugandans will one day abandon you – the moment you stress them. It does not matter whether your name is Bad Black and you have bought half the bar drinks. When the news about your underhand business methods become public, they will deny ever knowing you. If anything, they will join everyone else who is clamouring for your head.
I could offer a number more recommendations for how to avoid stress but owing to the fact that many of you are probably already getting stressed by reading this long blog post, I shall let it rest. Do try however to avoid stress, as much as you can. After all, a stress-full life is most likely a wasted life.
Here is a simple quote to get you through this week.
“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
The Talkative Rocker