The stress circle saved my life

Posted by Ed - 15/07/13 at 12:07 pm

Living dream 1 had several revelations the most important was the stress circle that I invented one afternoon while in my food product development lab.

I sat at my desk and suddenly it seemed that I was having trouble breathing or an onset of this type of thing. “How could this be happening? I am doing what I love and work stress is light and manageable.”

I opened my notebook to the next spread of two blank pages and drew a circle about the size of quarter in the center of the right page. It represented my head, specifically what was going on in my head.

Then I proceeded to draw arrows from the center out for everything on my mind at that moment. The longer the arrow the more stress or anxiety it caused. The fatter the arrow the more income. So Food Product Development (my job) represented a fat stubby arrow while a planned wine and food pairing event at a local restaurant locking in the winemaker and the chef was represented by a long thin arrow since any revenue would happen after the event.

The page filled with arrows of all sizes and it was becoming clear that much was on my mind. I viewed it from a distance and person (me) at the desk could get a visual of what was going on in my head.

As I completed my assessment one long thin arrow shot across the right page and onto the left page. That was it the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. My major professor from UC Davis had asked me to volunteer to be the editor of the Northern California Food Technology magazine. In fact I hated writing that’s why I originally became a Mechanical Engineer, the coursework had the least amount of writing required.

I completed drawing arrows for all that was on my mind. Almost instantly I started a To Do List on the left side of the stress circle. The To Do List was a To Cancel List and after entering the critical phone numbers, I felt better and the next day started cancelling and checking off the To Do List.

The result was back to happiness. About six months later I became a team member of three friends who took over the editor position until another volunteer could be found.

Since that time, I have completed Stress circles in my notebooks. Many times I do them just to assess what’s going on in my head at a point in time and it helps remind me to look at myself from the outside in.

Please comment on this post especially if you found it helpful. Your comments get sent to my email and I will comment back. EB

Leave a Reply