Bob Mattison
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Join:16 Jan 2012
Last:30 Jul 2013

About Me

Part 1
I have three kids and they all stress me out quite a lot. More importantly though, they make me stress about common situations more because I really need to succeed so that I can be a good father and provider to them. I am constantly worried that we are not going to have enough money if we are faced with and emergency. I also stress about school and finishing all of my school work. A task which is greatly complicated by the fact that I am a stay at home dad and never get any quiet time to accomplish this. The worst thing of all that I never had to stress about before my kids were born is their safety.

I don’t believe that my stress is due to irrational beliefs. The fact of the matter is that before my kids were born I was barely driven to succeed. Which is kind of a shame because the best time time to make something of yourself is probably when you are young and full of energy. It would have been much easier to build a career before the birth of my children since they manage to take up about 95% of my time. On a similar note I am very grateful to have such a good reason to want to be successful. That reason being as significant as it is however seems to make the whole situation that much more stressful.

My personality type would most likely be considered typ B. I say this because I am much more prone to follow a type A than to be one. I don't think that I am a type C because I am not completely lost. I can only imagine how stressed I would be if I was a type A.

The most obvious physical symptom of my stress would have to be the fact that I am exhausted all the time. My hair also seems to be turning very grey. I like it that way so I don't really let it stress me out to much. People often get confused because I must look quite young until they see my grey hair.

Work stress is very serious and for me I think that it might be a little worse right now than it ever has been at any of my previous jobs. While it is true that I do not have a full time job right now, the reason that I am more stressed than usual is quite simple. While I am staying home with my children and taking care of the house right now. I can honestly say that this is the most difficult and most important job that I have ever had and ever will have in my life. You take that kind of pressure and add the financial stress and the knowledge that you are working as hard as you are without being bring any extra bread into the house and you feel kind of worthless.

I have lots of school stress as well. I tend to have a difficult time finding time to do homework while I am taking care of the kids and housework and all. For a while I would try and do homework between the hours of nine and midnight every night which was working pretty well. Then the babies started teething. So now if I do homework from nine to midnight and then I am up with a very irritated child from about one to four. Doesn't really leave much time for rest.

On the Holmes-Rahe Scale I scored a 255. I attribute a lot of this to my twins that were born a little over a year ago and also to the fact that I lost my job recently and have several bills. They say that if you score between 200 and 299 that you are susceptible to wearing yourself down to the point of being much more vulnerable to some kind of illness. I can honestly say that I have been quite lucky with the exception of the occasional cold.(knock on wood)

Part 2:

In order to help myself relieve some of my stress I decided to try three different behavior altering strategies. I have given myself one month to practice each technique so I can take an adequate inventory of what does and doesn't work. The first change I made was to adjust my overall intake of soda. Instead of buying soda by the case and drinking several sodas a day I only get a soda when there is a machine nearby or when I am at a restaurant. By not having soda readily available I am forced to drink more water and juice which is definitely better for me.

The second change involved my favorite activity, watching movies. I have always enjoyed watching movies and lately the only movies that have been frequenting my television are of the disney variety which are not exactly what I had in mind. So I have forced myself to watch one movie of my choice every week. In addition to the movie watching I have also been listening to some film scores from my favorite movies while I do homework which I find very relaxing.

The third stress reducing behavior that I have decided to adopt involves working with my hands. Luckily for the past two years I have been promising my wife that I was going to finish the basement so that we can have some extra space down there. So I finally managed to get down there and get some work done and I was able to say that it was homework related.