Disclaimer: This article doesn’t promote alcoholism in any way or form. Please read it with a grain of salt and enjoy the ideas and thoughts.
Everyday life = build-up of tension
In our day-to-day lives, we all experience stressful environments and situations. A lot of people are completely clawed up, stagnant and rigid because of accumulated tension and stress.
If you’re a teen or adolescent, there’s a big chance there’s just a shitstorm of expectations hanging above your head: expectations from parents, family, friends, yourself, … As if finding our way in this constantly changing world isn’t challenging enough, little Sally also tells you you’re a lazy ass while mommy says you have to clean your nasty room and get good grades.
“F*ck! What do I do and how do I do it?”
If you’re getting older, parent or not, you probably have the crazy concerns of loans and debts while surviving that job where you work your ass off daily. Days go by with you wondering when circumstances are going to be different. When life is going to get easier and less stressful. Well, it’s never really going to get easier. Unless you choose to go meditate in a Buddhist monestary. Which is pretty cool, but easy comparing to real life.
Now, what is happening to almost every single person, young and old, is that this stress and tension is accumulating in the mind as well as the body. Muscle aches, back and neck pain is there, weighing you down in your everyday existence. Cases of anxiety and depression is high in our Western society, mainly because of insanely high work load and stress.
Experiences as a student
As a student Bio-Engineering, what a lot of people call one of the most difficult things to study in Belgium (i don’t know, you know, maybe), I definitely can relate to the above. Work load is a lot, pressure is high, time is limited. At least, in my experience.
A quick Google search of “Student” gave classic cringe-worthy pictures.
Who ever poses and smiles in a library???
Of course there are the absolute brainiacs that just kill it effortlessly, but the majority of the students (in general) have to grind a lot. It was hard especially the first two years in. I’d put in a lot of time and effort to study, but still failed a lot of exams. Turned out I wasn’t using the right strategy or focus, which elevated the stress and anxiety even more. The accumulation of this stress was enormous and above that, my own expectations were just too unrealistic. It wasn’t a pretty picture.
However, what’s student life without good amount of partying, right? Well, that was definitely there. But what happened was, during the first years, that there were too many occasions that we had parties and drank a good amount. I did it for the hell of it, maybe to forget the stress and so on.
I didn’t always feel good about it and sometimes felt guilty. Was it really worth feeling like crap the next day because of the massive hangovers I always suffered from?
In retrospect, it might’ve been a viscious circle.
Going partying and drinking too much to forget the stress a bit, to be slapped in the face the next day because you couldn’t get anything done with the nasty hangover. And so on…
It wasn’t grounded, it wasn’t genuine and it wasn’t coming from the right place. The ‘work hard, play hard’-place that I wanted to be coming from.
Releasing the tension
To repeat, I’m definitely not promoting alcoholism in any way. What I am trying to communicate here, is that we could see positive points in our experience being piss drunk and the hangover the next day. And, of course there are way healthier and smarter alternatives to release this tension. Like sitting on your ass and breathing for an hour on a beautiful beach, of course:
Or running on asphalt in weird, tight shorts:
But, in moderation (once every few weeks) we can choose to periodically, almost ritually, release it by having enough drinks and letting it all go. Scream like a hyena, dance like a moron and have nothing on your mind.
It can be a help for all that tension bubbling up inside of you, in following ways:
1. In the moment itself, we can let go totally of social conditioning. And this is release of built-up tension. The expectations of ourselves and of others are just little scratches on the surface and we couldn’t give a f*ck less. We can do whatever we want for a few hours, or at least we think we can.
2. However great we feel while were drunk, the next day reality hits us harder than the biggest, baddest bouncer at the club ever could. We feel the hangover, lingering in our every body part and we realize something that gives us what we can call: AN EMOTIONAL RESET. We realize that we’re not immortal and that we have our limits. Also take into account the mistakes we made that night and the massive regrets from our actions and decisions, which add to our self-questioning.
3. After the storm subsides, we can sometimes quote the famous Will Ferrell:
And promise ourselves not to ever do that again.
Moral of the story:
but remember to let it all out every now and then.