My fishing buddies and I have created an analogy to help us talk about stress. Imagine you have a block of ice inside you. Now imagine any time you stress yourself out, you start melting your block of ice and once your block melts entirely you are done – as in dead. A little drastic maybe but stress has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
I use this analogy myself and I use it when coaching people. Once someone knows the lingo you can point out: “Hey! You are melting the ice.” or ask them “Is this worth melting ice over?” Having a novel way to talk about stressing out does not, in itself, help people reduce their stress. It does however, help lighten the discussion, and humour is always a good starting point when reducing stress.
There’s another part of the ice melting theory and that’s the idea that you can add ice back. My fishing buddies and I agreed that you can, but it takes a long time and is quite slow compared to how fast you can melt ice by stressing yourself out with negative feelings. Doing good things for others and doing healthy things for yourself are two of the ways we have come up with to slowly grow some ice back over time.