Stressful Emotions

Stressful Emotions
Negative emotions arise from stressful situations.

Negative emotions arise from stressful situations. In stressful situations, us men get into “fight or flight” mode. When these emotions overrun, we feel out of control and the problems get worse and worse. I had a recent situation where I along with my family was tired and hungry. Everyone was on their last threads and ready to break. Recently, I found myself driving a minivan fill with my family including our pet dog and pulling a trailer filled with our weekend of camping gear (we don’t pack lite when camping).

click here After 5 days of camping and a 3 hour drive, we needed some lunch and decided to pull off the freeway to an “In and Out” restaurant. This didn’t seem like a big deal, so you know stress is around the corner. As I exit the freeway I find myself driving behind a bicyclist who’s wearing a backpack with a small BBQ tied to it. Not only that, this bicyclist is playing “air” drums while riding (which should be against some law). I wouldn’t be bothered much if he was actually listening to music, but there were no headphones to be seen.

Now, I’ve ridden bicycles before while doing some crazy things:

  • Eating a watermelon
  • Talking on the phone
  • Walking a dog1

But I’ve never done these things while in the middle of the street with other cars behind me. Also, I was always in full control of my bicycle in the bike lane. I was never swerving all over the car lane. This rider was clearly beating to a different drum.

Did I mention before we had been camping for the past 5 days in the wilderness just 10 miles from the border with Mexico.2 Did I also mention we were overdue for some lunch and I have 3 small hungry boys who have been stuck in our minivan for the past 3 hours.

They all wanted to tell me their “In and Out” needs at the same.

  • Did I mention they were tired and hungry?
  • Did I mention that I was tired and hungry?

You can imagine the “Fight or Flight” mode I had in this situation. Unfortunately, I couldn’t “flight” since I was trapped in a car, in a drive-thru. I was in “fight” mode and had no one to actually fight. I should’ve been in a fight against myself, but the only ones I could fight was those around me; my loved ones.

We seem to have 2 types of emotions. Emotions from love and emotions from fear. With these stressful situations and being in “fight” mode, I was having emotions that were based in fear. I had fears of:

  • Crazy people threatening my family
  • Not providing basic needs of my starving family
  • Being trapped

All of my emotions can be broken down to my fears. We can break FEAR down to:

The crazy bicyclist wasn’t actually threatening my family (he was just being odd). My children hungry were not going to starve to death. My feeling of being trapped in a cage could’ve been solved by letting my wife drive and actually going for a walk.

Stressful situations is a hot bed for bad emotions. As a man with emotion, you must recognize these situations will spark problems. Be on your guard to expect your emotions to get out of hand. Like I’ve mentioned before in my “Feeling and Dealing” post, acknowledge and give voice to your emotions. Deal with them and the fears you have. Only then can you move on.

1Not certain you can call it “walking the dog” since I’m on a bicycle.
2My cellphone was trying to tell me I was in Mexico the whole time (apparently connection to a cell tower in Mexico).