I don't handle stress well. I'd like to say I do, and envision myself the pinnacle of stoicism like my father. There's a man for you. 21 years in the army, 3 tours of vietnam, wounded once, then year-long 'temporary' assignments - one on the island of Shemya, the third to last island in the Aleutian chain with massive radio dishes listening to the soviet union; and another on a peninsula in turkey overlooking the caspian sea, massive radio dishes listening to the soviet union.
All that and he has yelled at me a total of 2 times in my life. He didn't need to yell. He had that look, the speak-softly-and-carry-a-big-stick mannerism, which kept me in line quite effectively through my raging male adolescent hormones coupled with my mothers temper.
I've been in my job about 18 months. During my first review, my boss noted "he does not suffer fools lightly".
As our economy tanks, and my wife and I are saddled with an exceptionally poor financial decision in the form of a three family rental property in Manch-Vegas, my stress level has shown little potential for abatement.
So how does one who does not deal well with stress or suffer fools lightly deal with stress?
Sex? No magic there. I've been married for 13 blissful years, Let's just say you single guys really aren't missing much in that department.
There's always substance 'therapy'. A reasonable short-term regimen, but continued use leaves you less well prepared to deal with the situations creating the stress, the situations compound, and you get stuck in a downwardly spiraling morass of stress-inducers.
Exercise. While not giving the immediate gratification of sex, or detachment from reality of drugs and alcohol, does have the benefit of low-pass-filtering the ebbs and flows of bio rhythms and lifes speedbumps.
So, I've been running alot. I've been a licensed bike racer for 20 years, but over the last few I'm finding the peripheral situations associated with racing create as much stress as the activity alleviates. running - not so. It's the getting outside that does it. I could start my typical winter training program and lock myself in the basement for 8 hours/week. I'd be stronger and more fit come the end of march, but still really pissed off. Instead, I'm running about 5 hours/week outside.
I'm looking forward to the warmer weather when I can start commuting by bike to work - one of the best stress relievers to date (for me). Gets the yayas out.
till then, Maybe I'll try to strike some sort of formula with sex, alcohol, and running....not necessarily in that order.