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ducky_dnl's avatar

How can I keep a good poker face, when my stress levels are off the chart?

Asked by ducky_dnl (5376points) August 8th, 2010

I am having an eventful weekend. My friends baby was put into the hospital today. She just called me and said they’re going to keep her baby in the hospital for the next few days for severe bronchitis. I didn’t know you could get bronchitis in the summer! I’ll be going back to the hospital soon, but how do I gather my thoughts and pull myself together. My friend and her husband have been crying and I feel like I shouldn’t cry, to make them calm down when around me. I just want to break down. My friend loves her baby and wants me to help her, but I can’t do anything. I’m grieving my opossum and now my friends baby. My stress levels are at the max. You know that little imaginary line that has at the very bottom “normal” and “deadly” with the little skull looking face next to it at the very top? I’m right at the deadly end. :/ I’ve been supressing everything I can. I snapped once at the hospital and cussed out a nurse because they we’re making us wait and the baby was looking like death. My heart is racing nonstop and I’ve been popping my meperidine pills more than I should for pain. I’ve been smoking on top of that. I have no idea how much more I can take. I just want to scream and cry, but I can’t. Nows not that time to be a “pansy bitch” as my brother would say. I need help.

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5 Answers

daytonamisticrip's avatar

Easy psychology. Trick em. Barely lift one side of your mouth like a smile. Not to much,just barely, like a little twitch of happiness. they won’t read into your stress if you do it right.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Large motor skill activities sometimes helps get the stress out enough so you can manage. I usually dig in the garden or pull weeds. It doesn’t take any thought, is repetitive, but allows me to direct my focus away from the issues at hand so I can get control of my emotions. My dad used to hammer nails into 2×4’s in the garage for the same reason.

Also, talking to yourself helps get it out. If it stays in your head, the emotion just gets bigger and bigger. But for some reason, talking about what’s going on can make it manageable. Just the sound of your own voice can get the emotion out of your head and make it more manageable.

The loss of a pet and a friend’s baby going into the hospital are both stressful events. When babies get sick, it seems to be in such a big way, because their bodies are so small, and that adds to the anxiety of the situation. People do get bronchitis in the summer, especially if allergies have been particularly bad (and they seem to be this year.) You have to stay positive for your friends; focus on what you can do. Bring them dinner? Run to their house and feed the dog? Look for tasks that can be supportive. Some things, only time will control, and having a baby in the hospital is one of them.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Realize that you don’t have to save the world. But you would do well by learning how to accept it.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
MNCgirl's avatar

Usually, when I have to keep a poker face, I try to distance myself from the situation. If I feel like I’m going to snap or cry or get upset, I try to sing a song in my head I know, or recite a poem. It’s just a way of distracting oneself until you can return to the situation and not let your anger or sadness escalate.

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