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How to Stay Stressed

computer_punch.jpgWhile cleaning out old paper files the other day, I ran across a printout of an intriguing e-mail message received nine and a half years ago from my friend and fellow entrepreneur Maxwell Thomas.

“I seldom send out mass e-mails,” Maxwell wrote, “but this one particularly struck me.”

Well, it struck me, too—hard. Reading “How to Stay Stressed” again made me recognize my own tendency, unchanged after more than nine years, to create self-importance-inflating “stress.”

I tried calling and e-mailing John Pinto, the apparent author, for permission to reprint his work, but was unable to contact him. Since the piece already appears online in several places, here it is for your enjoyment.

How to Stay Stressed

Although the De Anza Health Office long been an advocate of stress management, stress, tension, and burnout are still common complaints of students, faculty, and staff alike. On account of this, we have come to the following conclusion: YOU ALL WANT TO STAY STRESSED! The following provides you with a few reasons why.

Stress Helps You Seem Important
Anyone as stressed as you must be working very hard and, therefore, is probably doing something very crucial.

It Helps You to Maintain Personal Distance and Avoid Intimacy
Anyone as busy as you are certainly can’t be expected to form emotional attachments to anyone. And let’s face it, you’re not much fun to be around anyway.

It Helps You Avoid Responsibilities
Obviously you are too stressed to be given any more work. This gets you off the hook for all the mundane chores; let someone else take care of them.

It Gives You a Chemical Rush
Stress might be considered a cheap thrill, and you can give yourself a “hit” anytime you choose. But be careful, you might get addicted to your own adrenaline.

It Helps You Avoid Success
Why risk being “successful” when by simply staying stressed you can avoid all of that? Stress can keep your performance level low enough that success will never be a threat.

Stress Also Lets You Keep Your Authoritarian Management Style
The authoritarian style of “Just do what I say!” is generally permissible under crisis conditions. If you maintain a permanently stressed crisis atmosphere, you can justify an authoritarian style all the time.chain_with_broken_link.jpg

Are you worried now about how to stay stressed? You’ll have no trouble if you practice the following clinically proven methods:

Never Exercise
Exercise wastes a lot of time that could be spent worrying.

Eat Anything You Want
Hey, if cigarette smoke can’t cleanse your system, a balanced diet isn’t likely to.

Gain Weight
Work hard at staying at least 25 pounds over your recommended weight.

Take Plenty of Stimulants
The old standards of caffeine, nicotine, and sugar will continue to do the job just fine.

Avoid “Woo-Woo” Practices
Ignore the evidence suggesting that meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and/or mental imaging help to reduce stress. The Protestant work ethic is good for everyone, Protestant or not.

Get Rid of Your Social Support System
Let the few friends who are willing to tolerate you know that you concern yourself with friendships only if you have time, and you never have time. If a few people persist in trying to be your friend, avoid them.

Personalize All Criticism
Anyone who criticizes any aspect of your work, family, dog, house, or car is mounting a personal attack. Don’t take time to listen, be offended, then return the attack!

Throw Out Your Sense of Humor
Staying stressed is no laughing matter, and it shouldn’t be treated as one.

Males and Females Alike: Be Macho
Never ask for help, and if you want it done right, do it yourself!

Become a Workaholic
Put work before everything else, and be sure to take work home evenings and weekends. Keep reminding yourself that vacations are for sissies.

Discard Good Time Management Skills
Schedule in more activities every day than you can possibly get done and then worry about all whenever you get a chance.

Procrastinate
Putting things off to the last second always produces a marvelous amount of stress.

Worry About Things You Can’t Control
Worry about the stock market, earthquakes, the approaching Ice Age, you know, all the big issues.

Become Not Only a Perfectionist but Set Impossibly High Standards
… and either beat yourself up, or feel guilty, depressed, discouraged, and/or inadequate when you don’t meet them.

soulshelterright.gifYou may also enjoy:

Fixing a Broken Work Model

Life Without Principle (or Interest)

Opting Out of the Deferred Life Plan

1 Comment to How to Stay Stressed

On Dec 23, 2009, Mike commented:

WOW!!! It’s so sad more folks haven’t heard about this site, this had just what I needed this morning

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