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LongTheta
The Snowman

Total Posts: 3117
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-18 14:49
How do you deal with idiots?

Time is on my side.

AndyM


Total Posts: 2322
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-18 14:56

Two people that I respect have told me recently that meditation has played a massive role in reducing their stress levels; this made me sit up and take notice as both of these guys are pretty hard-boiled and not at all receptive to any pseudomystical BS...so that got me thinking that there may indeed be something worth investigating here.

Anyone have any insights?


Hell is other forums!

LongTheta
The Snowman

Total Posts: 3117
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-18 15:24

 


Time is on my side.

FDAXHunter
Founding Member

Total Posts: 8356
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-18 15:37

First of all, I'm like the people AndyM mentioned: No mystic psychology, life force & spirit BS for me either. I do like psychology, when based on solid grounds.

I swim alot. On the one hand, it keeps you fairly fit. But, more importantly (and this always cracks people up at the pool) I swim to relieve stress. It is, like meditation. Swimming is a lonely sport, you are surrounded by pretty much nothing, except dark water, no sounds, etc.
After a while you enter a "altered state" (Note: Not trying to sound like a mystic here... states are a well recognized fact in the "science" of psychology).
After around 30 minutes, I notice that I'm less aware of my surroundings, time seems to flow faster, I think less. This is, essentially a mild trance state.
Negative emotions such as anger, hate, distress, etc. don't seem to make it past this state. They simply disappear.

Why? I have no idea, but, for a theory of mine is, as I said, you think less, and alot of the stressful 'emotions' seem to require constant 'feeding'. At least it seems to do so in males Smiley
If you don't feed it i.e think about it, it dies.
I guess exhaustion plays a role too, in the sense that you simply can't be bothered with being pissed off at the moment.

You can achieve this in other long-distance sports as well, but not nearly as easily: Running and cycling you need to concentrate where you're going otherwise you fall, the scenery changes constantly, more noise, etc.

Glad that this thread started today, because I just had my worst day for the year 2004 (not ever, but for 2004). Why? Well, I have to admit to my shame I'm not on top of things psychologically at the moment.... and... well, sort of imagine a rabid wolf  let loose on a trading screen.
I was really angry with myself for being an absolute idiot. In my opinion, that's the worst stress: If you are angry with yourself for being a fool, that's much worse than being angry at someone else being a fool.
So I went into the pool... and now it's all good. Yes, I was being a fool, am I now bothered by it? No. I'm very relaxed and can think about it objectively (or rather, I tell myself that I can)Smiley

Long story short: I found this so stress reducing that I think I can proudly say I am never stressed after a day at work. I might be during the day (like today), but not when I get home.


The Figs Protocol.

kr
Founding Member
NP Raider
Total Posts: 3561
Joined: Apr 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-18 15:49

I'm with fdax, go to the gym and rip yourself to shreds.  Sometimes you carry your stress in a particular part of your body, so focus on that.  It's a bit like the acupuncture theory.  Basically, they put the needle in you, and if you tense the muscle, it keeps hurting.  Pretty soon your subconscious wises up and stops tensing the muscle, pain goes away, mission accomplished.  It ain't crystals and smoke, just common sense.

I am not good at meditation, basically my mind just wants to pack up and go off hiking somewhere at any minute of the day.  But I do think that a lot of stress comes from improperly analyzing situations and either not taking action on the things you can act on, or not resigning yourself to inactivity when you can't control the outcome anyhow.  I.e. if you're gonna charge, then charge, and if you're gonna give up, then give up.  But don't choose X and execute Y, no wonder it bothers you! 

Of course this is easier said than done, sometimes the execution stage is a bit complicated.  Then you have to focus on the whole plan.  I.e. I'd like to tell my boss what I really think, but that would set off a sequence of events where I wouldn't be in control, so it's best to get my other plans all fixed up first and hold my tongue until the paint's dry.  After that I can do whatever the hell I please - if I want to shoot my mouth off, there'll be no hesitation. 

Anyhow, to keep your focus on a big plan takes strength and patience.  One cannot do this 24/7 any more than one can spend all day at the gym.  At some point, you run out of steam.  So take a break, don't be a hero.  For myself I'd say I have a tough time doing nothing... so I'm glad that people force me away from my books every so often - I just wouldn't do it on my own. 

So when you see the monks in the meditation room, and the master slaps some guy across the face, you know what's going on.  They have a big plan.


my bank got pwnd

chiral3
Founding Member

Total Posts: 5030
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-18 16:30
I had a climbing accident in 2000.  The result is a bad ankle made of metal and the inability to do most endurance sports on my feet.  I like to go to the gym and do chest.  There is something about throwing plates in an outward direction that is de-stressing.  Back is fun, bis are fun, but the action of pushing out and away is nice.  I usually feel nothing after that, although you can't do that everyday like swimming.

Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ

InspectorKojak
B.O.F.H.

Total Posts: 957
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-18 16:43

I once talked about that topic with some people i know and all of them are jogging to work off their stress.

The most effective way to get rid of stress is to eliminate the source of your stress, some say beating up that moron helps. You got the double impact: you work out plus you gave'em hell!


Want some Lollypop?

FDAXHunter
Founding Member

Total Posts: 8356
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-18 19:58
I like the Inspector's approach. Going over to MikeBells appartment to settle things certainly would have resulted in a solution satisfactory to all participants?

The Figs Protocol.

bloodninja
Forum Surgeon

Total Posts: 904
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-18 21:32

this is an interesting thread. i want to add some things.

1. i'm a pretty avid swimmer and into water sports in general. swimming is very satisfying for me. they say that pound for pound swimming one of the healthiest things you can do. also, there are a wide variety of swimming work outs that are possible; including hypoxic swimming which is very healthy. i like to mix them around.

2. i also like running but running is very different. for me running is very much about pain. i've never had 'runner's high' but i've been in 'the zone' and know about that. but running can be very destructive to the body.  road racing is also very social and i like to do that; i've had some great experiences on the road with the sun rising etc on a sunday morning and such.

3. i also like the gym but am not really in to power lifting. instead i normally do high reps / set pyramids; e.g.,  2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20,20,18,16,14,12,10,8,6,4,2, 'cause it's simple and has warm up / cool down built in etc. periodically (every 2 months or so) i do max reps to total muscle failure. i like the gym but always cross train with the swimming and  running. 1/2 swim 1/2 gym work out or 1/2 swim 1/2 run etc. i find the gym very satisfying and useful for stress management and to maintain my satisfaction with life.

4. i'm pretty avid about sport martial arts like judo, tae kwon do, and jiujitsu each of which have a heavy randori / sparring component which i prefer. what's good about that is that you are in a maximum effort / maximum intent environment against an opponent; but one where the risk of serious injury is minimized. with time you're pretty much gaurenteed to break something like a nose, rib, finger, toe .... but none of those are really that  important. i've always found considerable perspective on life through randori. for example, when you are focused 100% on knocking out an opponent who is  focused 100% on knocking you out it's impossible to think about your wife, job, boss, school, career or other stresses. not only that, but if your  mind does wander it's gaurenteed that your opponent will grab your attention again eventually in one way or another.

there is much perspective and clarity to be obtained from martial  arts with a heavy randori focus.

5. for a while i was sky diving (haven't done it recently). i really enjoyed  that. sky diving is hard to describe to people who have not done it.  basically, when you dive a very old reptilean part of the  brain LIGHTS up in a pretty extreme way; consequently your life and concerns are put in perspective.  it's pretty dramatic. i recommend it.

6. i know a couple things about meditation. the bottom line is simple: there's a right way and a wrong way. when you do it  right it's very strong medicine. but it's hard to do it right 'cause it's painful. but i mean it, it is very powerful, hard, simple, and painful.  you will know when you're doing it right 'cause it has a very dramatic payoff  that YOU will be aware of in your day to day. basically, right practice has a physiological and neurological impact. in other words, it is a physical activity. it is an EXERCISE. it is the exercise that generates the payoff; which is a physiological payoff. it's like doing a push up. there's a right way to do a push up and lots of wrong ways. when you do it right you know 'cause you can feel it and cause there's a payoff that you become aware of in your life.

there is a long story about how yoga, meditation, the martial arts, and buddhism are all related to bodhidarma and his trek to china from india. long story short, zen and yoga are the same thing. meditation is an exercise like 'the warrior' posture is an exercise or a push up is an exercise. so meditation is something that can be practiced in the same way that yoga is practiced; e.g., as a fitness activity. unfortunately there is a lot of confusion about how this all relates to 'truth' and religion and what not, which is unfortunate but true. there is a relationship, but who cares? and i'm not trying to be funny. seriously, who cares?

in short, if you do practice you will know that you are practicing in your day to day. it will come out in your life in a variety of ways. it's very simple and hard to do. exactly like a push up. a good discussion of this can be found in Shunryu Suzuki's 'Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind' i recommend that to people interested in the no bull shit soup to nuts of it.

bottom line: i don't live in my mind. i live in my body. math and computers and words and books is all about the mind. i don't live there. i live in my  body; so i prefer to be as active as i can be.


Don't try

JabairuStork
Beat Box King

Total Posts: 970
Joined: May 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-19 04:14
#1 way to relieve short-term stress is exercise. Whatever makes you happy: swimming, running, climbing, weights, etc. I used to be a serious runner, and still try to log some mileage when I can. I can't speak for other martial arts, but capoeira always makes me feel pretty relaxed. Nothing like busting a move in the roda. For the less athletically inclined, anything that forces you to concentrate on a physical activity and "turn off", or at least relax ,your mind. Have sex, cook a meal, solder some circuits, shoot your guns, whatever. For the long-term stressors in your life, you have to shift your way of thinking. I spent many years achieving buddha consciousness, which is just another name for getting some perspective. You have to stay focused on what is important, learn to choose your battles wisely, and stop trying to indulge your ego all the time. Best of luck to all.

Mela
NP High Priestess

Total Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-19 11:48

God, everyone's an athlete! As soon as I finished high school I felt so liberated that I didn't have to run around the school grounds anymore. I hated running, I hated collective sports... I still do. The only thing I liked was gymnastics (It's a girl thing)

I don't get stressed, but I'm prone to bouts of depression. But I've found driving is the best way to clear my head. On my way home, I go through Monsanto, a large area of woods right in the middle of the city. It's wonderful to decompress.


opmtrader
Founding Member

Total Posts: 1333
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2004-05-19 16:32

Mela, I was just thinking the same thing as I was working out last night.  All these quant dudes must be ripped!  I've got to keep up, 10 more reps...

Seriously though lifting weights has helped me a great deal.  I'm by no means totally ripped but I'm in decent shape.  The improvement though has been psychological.  I feel it is very important for me as a trader/quant to have something linear in my life.  In these other pursuits of the mind which are strewn with randomness how hard you work does not always translate into how fruitful the endeavor becomes.  Sometimes the profitable ideas come easily and sometimes they come with great difficulty.  There's not a direct correlation.  To have something in life that is linear is very calming.  More effort equals more results.  I truly believe that everyone needs to only do one thing well to have some self worth.  I don't care if its weightlifting, playing an instrument, or knitting a quilt.  As long as you have some talent, do something with excellence, no matter how small, you always will have something to hold on to.  Everyone does something well. 


FDAXHunter
Founding Member

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Posted: 2004-05-19 17:01

opmtrader,

very well put.


The Figs Protocol.

Randumb


Total Posts: 70
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Posted: 2008-10-19 20:33

I wanted to bump this thread forward to see if any of you have any new techniques for stress management... considering we're in a pretty good environment for testing stress management techniques.  Also, this thread was started in 2004.  If you were stressed then, how stressed are you now?

I'm also looking for recommendations on beginner meditation books.  I'm not into all the new-age hippie masturbation.  Just looking for something useful.  I saw the good reviews for "zen and the brain" and "train your mind, change your brain."  I'll probably start with those.


granchio


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Posted: 2008-10-20 00:35
nobody mentioned vodka

"Deserve got nothing to do with it" - Clint

MadMax


Total Posts: 424
Joined: Feb 2006
 
Posted: 2008-10-20 01:19
Cooking and washing dishes have a very calming effect on me.

I do swimming, martial arts, running, climbing, weights by periods. But I don't do any of it for stress or anger management.
In fact, I would recommend to avoid doing any of these except swimming when you are not feeling well because of higher likelihood of potential injuries.

Energetic
Forum Captain

Total Posts: 1423
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Posted: 2008-10-20 16:20
nobody mentioned vodka

Maybe this is because nobody wants to mention the obvious?

We had a 3 hours long bike trip with kids and friends yesterday, followed by a set of gigantic hot pastrami sandwiches with red wine. Then we soaked aching limbs in hot tub and had more wine along the way. Everyone agreed that we had a great day.

I think it adds up to a good de-stressing routine.

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong. - H. L. Mencken

Rookie_Quant


Total Posts: 742
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Posted: 2008-10-20 16:22

I am very convinced that theraputic/deep tissue massage along with hydrotherapy can go a long way in reducing some stress. Massage gets a bad name because of some of the questionable tactics, but if you can find a quality therapist, it can work wonders.

My method is to do 1-2 hours per week of deep tissue work (at first, this is not at all pleasant, but very medically advantageous). After each session I try and steam for 20-30 minutes while chugging water. If you are at a spa or the NYAC, etc steaming and then swimming in cool water, and alternating back and forth for 15-20 min each is very healthy and relaxing.

My wife also swears by pilates. I can attest that yoga has done wonders for me, especially when done in a relaxing/dimmed light setting. It's a mixture of stretching and meditation for me. Pilates is a little more hardcore, but I have seen it bring near-crippled people to a functional state. And I strongly believe that stress can overtake you physically in ways that dont make any logical sense.

Accupuncture is also relaxing...I dont know where I come out on the movement of qui around my body, meridians, and the like, but I will say that there is no doubt that those little needles are doing "something."

Lastly, again from experience, I think it was Hippocrates that said "let food be your medicine." Eating less refined/processed food (note: you dont have to eat like a rabbit here) and sugars can work wonders as well. I could go on for about 20 pages about food, but suffice it to say I can also attest that changes in the nature of the food you eat, and avoiding things like aspartime, high fructose corn syrup, etc. can reduce stress.

 


"These metaphors and similes aint similar to them, not at all." -Eminem

Nonius
Founding Member
Nonius Unbound
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Posted: 2008-10-20 21:13


We had a 3 hours long bike trip

where did you ride?

Granchio, maybe next weekend for the italian lake ride.... 


Chiral is Tyler Durden

tripitaka


Total Posts: 982
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Posted: 2008-10-20 21:31
being outside does wonders for me, especially if there's a decent distance to the horizon

Energetic
Forum Captain

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Posted: 2008-10-20 21:47
Columbia Trail

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong. - H. L. Mencken

Martingale
NP House Mouse

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Posted: 2008-10-20 22:02

nobody mentioned vodka

vodka is not strong enough...


LongTheta
The Snowman

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Posted: 2008-10-21 13:02
Cointreau

Time is on my side.

AndyM


Total Posts: 2322
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2008-10-21 13:26
Don't stress in the first place... (an obvious, but often overlooked point).

How long will they kill our profits, While we stand aside and look? Some say it's just a part of it; We've got to remark the book.

veroniq


Total Posts: 172
Joined: May 2007
 
Posted: 2008-10-21 15:18
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