Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stress Relievers I Learned From TV and Old Movies.

Ever noticed how people in old movies are a little.... well..... cheerier than the reality TV of today? I started watching old movies because I found them to be a great escape into a different time, when problems were big but no one really seemed to let it consume them. They still had to have their cup of coffee, and their lovers, and possibly sing about it. I have picked up a few ways to deal with stress from them that I wanted to share:

Give Yourself Some Zen Stress Time: I am finding it hard to admit this but I learned the most recent one on the show Lost, which I finally caved in and started watching from the beginning with the New Jersey-ite. Jack counts to 5 when he gets really stressed out about something and then moves on. He does it because he has to survive and can't sit paralyzed by fear, anger, or stress. Neither can we. I've had some serious "meltdowns" in the last few months and I have started giving myself this advice and it works well. When you have an intense moment of stress, simply give yourself 1 minute to be stressed. During this minute you should focus on your worry, tell yourself it will not be ok, and that the world is in fact over. Really concentrate on what that fear or stress feels like. After the minute is over, you will find it much easier to move on and start figuring out solutions. I think part of what keeps me stressed out is the fact that the moment I feel it, I tell myself that I should not be, thus making it much worse.
Lean On People: Blanche's famous line from A Streetcar Named Desire "I've always depended upon the kindness of strangers" and Holly Golightly's embodiment of leaning on people in Breakfast At Tiffany's can teach us something about stress. Old movies frequently show the type of leaning on people that isn't very popular nowadays: every relationship isn't 100% even between give and take all the time (something that's not easy for a type A like myself to remember). When you're stressed, it's cool to ask your close circle to "be a dear and help".
Fake It: Mad Men's Don Draper (and my personal hero) doesn't mope around with stress. Ever. And everyone thinks he's just amazing, cool, calm and collected. Even when things are really not going well for him at home or at work. Here's an article that gives some tips to creating the appearence of confidence.
Cabaret is another good one for faking it. Liza Minelli struggles with a failing career the entire movie but shows up in a great outfit with a "show must go on" attitude.
Others you should watch when you're stressed:
An American In Paris
Bonjour Tristesse
Seven Year Itch


Anonymous Anonymous said...

During this minute you should focus on your worry, tell yourself it will not be ok, and that the world is in fact over.

I don't why that made me laugh so hard. I think it's cause I can picture myself all of a sudden freezing going, "Well, you messed up there. Nothing will be okay. Your life is basically over I mean seriously you might as well go play in traffic -- it won't make a difference." ahaha and then taking a deep breathe and calling a friend just to get my mind off of it and having it all be okay after all.

Your posts are always amazing.

July 28, 2009 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Caitlin said...

haha, thanks Christian! I love hearing that my posts are appreciated :)

July 28, 2009 at 1:09 PM  

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