Brain Aneurysm Support Community

How do you handle stress?

How do you deal with the unavoidable stress of everyday life? Like family stuff… I’m finding it really hard.
Any tips are greatly appreciated.
Sincerely a very stressed,


Bertie, Stressors can be anything, not just family. Sometimes our families get the brunt of our frustrations.

So the first thing I do (and no, it’s not hydrate) is breathe. I breathe deeply, hold for a count of five and breath out as much as I can. Many, many years ago I learned it. Over the years others have taught me some tricks to go with relaxation breathing.

One of the things is visualize a color that represents all that is good to you and inhale that color pushing a color that represents angst out. You visualize it from the top of your head and keep working down section by section to your toes.

Then after you have your “strength/calming” color flowing nicely throughout your body, you visualize a force field of sorts. Like a Mylar and Kevlar shield surrounding you, all around, just a few inches away at first.

As you get better at it, you can put it a good foot away from you. The first time I used this technique was with a bully I worked with. He was over 6’ tall. His bad juju was just too much, I felt physically threatened and I put up my shield. It looked like someone literally picked him up off his feet and threw him back. It scared us all. When I asked the woman who taught me she said it was just his karma, anger, insecurity, slamming back into him and not into me.

Another important thing is to own your own feelings. No one can make you feel anything unless you allow it. We do chuckle in my family now with this one because a few months after I ruptured, I was trying to find the word for how I felt. I usually would tell my family not to tell me how I feel, I would tell them. But that time, I looked at my loved ones and said “How do I feel?”

But the absolute, most important thing in any good relationship with anyone, is communication. If you’re stressed by family, have a round table meeting. This is where someone holds an object identified as a “talking stick”. Only the person who holds the stick is allowed to talk. For someone else to reply, the stick must pass to that person.

If it’s just one person, try having a cup of tea, soda whatever, sit down with them and start by saying you have to clear the air and need their help. Always own your feelings…like I’m frustrated because I feel you don’t allow me to try to do things. I need to feel like I’m accomplishing something, do you mind helping me set goals? Which is probably better than Jeesh, get off my back or an even worse retort.

I usually find that it’s my own frustrations at not being able to quickly do the things I used to that creates stress. Unfortunately that stress can affect everyone around. However, all that being said, I had to learn to not be around chaos. I cannot process it well anymore and ended up telling them just that.

The other thing I learned yesterday by the new Neurologist is that with any type of stroke or brain damage, the neurotransmitters that handle stress messages are often blocked. So because in ten days time, I was stung by an attack force of yellow jackets, heard a woman get hit by a car at 0530. (Thought it was a deer) and then we had a break in and some tools were taken by someone who apparently wants them more than I. I lost my words, tremor came back as did the stutter. He is wanting me off the klonepin and puttting me on Zoloft. Pharmacist says it takes 12 weeks for it to get stabilized in the body. She says it is used to help neurotransmitters, not just for depression.


First I want to apologize to all for not having answered to any emails since I subscribed. I am not well and my life is difficult.

This I believe answers your question. Unfortunately for me, I am not coping well with the trauma of this surgery. My life has been turned upside down , so to say, because the surgery has simply changed me totally. It has changed my personality, my feelings, my character, everything about me, or it has enhanced some of perhaps hiddens traits that I never knew existed in me.

Depending where you live, and how much support you have from family or friends, for me life after surgery has been and still is difficult. I don’t have the same memory, the same concentration, huge fatigue, no sleep, etc, and of course this makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to cope with life’s everyday challenges.
Sorry I am not more cheerful.
But I am not young, I have a fibromyalgy that started a long time ago, and this can very well play a role in my surgery recovery.



“I had to learn to not be around chaos”. YES exactly. I have been looking for the right words to explain to family and close friends, to often they think it is volume or number of people being a trigger, when really it is chaos. Thank you

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I do deep breathing in thrpugh my mose, out through mouth. drink a bpttle of water slowly while sitting down. It may sound silly, But reading the Dalai Lama’s book ’ The Art of Happiness’, just a few pages at a time has helped me control my stress and anxiety well over in different life issues for the past 20 years since a friend gave me a copy while my father was sick in the hospital when the book was first released. I also look through my photographs of my children and other favorite photos of my family.

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As all members of my immediate family have serious health issues, I have discovered a few tricks for dealing with stress, the most important seems to be saving some time for myself-the rest are not invited, and setting boundaries for all concerned. Those who are causing the stress need to know that they are doing so and they need to know that there are consequences for their actions. Sit the stressor down and talk it out, really tell whomever what it is he or she is doing that has caused your stress. Chances are, the culprit will try to shrug it off at which point you reiterate that you (too) have a dangerous illness and you need some rules, some space, some extra patience on there part, and some deeper understanding. Sometimes, this even works, long, solitary walks work all the time.

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Hi Bertie,
I made a movie reply shared on google drive here:

Summary: therapist/counselor. #2) learn to identify underlying feelings as to WHY you are upset. #3) destress technique shown in video. #4) other techniques that counselors say but have not worked for me: hobbies/walking/sewing/working out…


You may have to hit “download” to see the movie. It doesn’t work just clicking play on my Mac.

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I was in very difficulty situation. It was suddenly happened, my brainstem had a compression
Thanks God, aneurysm was fixed with coiling.

Then i requested it caphalin and psychiatric when I was in hospital, the doc encouraged me to take anxiety pills while I am in recovery

In other words, getting support from expertise are not bad especially they know your situation

Also I believe in God, imagine you were independent then you became totally bed bound
You had to poop in your diaper when they were busy in skilled nursing

Keep positive and don’t be discouraged
Now I could walk short distance, talk more, eat

Went straight on my IPad, wonder what’s the difference?

I’m going to try that book! I also love Taming Your Gremlins, though I think it’s out of print and The Tao of Pooh

You described what I experience to a tee. It has been hard to learn to do things again. I was at an Executive level career wise when I fell. They found 3 aneurysms and I had 2 separate procedures to repair.
People around me and family members have always looked to me to be the strong one. The one with all the answers and could help out lightning fast. Not anymore. I am learning slowly to be gentle with myself. Forgiving myself. I am thankful that in a way this has given me a ‘do over’.
I am learning new things that don’t have a stress component. For example, painting class, gardening, sewing…etc.

I wish you relief from pain, calmness of mind, and a peaceful soul. :tulip:

It will get better!

Blessings to you.



Tai chi does amazing things. My rheumatologist advised that it would help significantly with fibro pain and other benefits. She was right !
You can find a 5-minute 100 day challenge Tai Chi Basics on Youtube that you could do as a learning tool. It’s simple, but very powerful. Think of it as something you can do Just for You!:tulip: many blessings.

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Hi, I am 13 years post coiling…am just starting to read books again…concentration levels deplorable…patience non existent…I now like solitude. Get really brassed off with myself for lack of memory, especially people’s name, or forgetting what I am doing or talking about.
Be gentle on yourself, walk away, laugh, pat the cat. I take joy in the fact that I am still alive and can enjoy the sunshine. Don’t suffer others stresses, they are not yours. Xo


It is definitely something I am also dealing with. So your not alone. I know your probably busy with family. Just thinking! what are your favorite hubbies or places you can go and relax? About 1 year ago went to imagination therapy. She would have me get comfortable and ask me places that would love to go. At first was hard but as I practiced it helped to imagine these beautiful places. Hope it helps.
Oh!One more thought of listening to soft music while your going to sleep. Good wishes for you. :butterfly::sunflower:

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I use a lot of post it notes! :smile: I can’t remember a lot of things and that’s why someone made post-its!
When I get home from work I have to shower-wash the day/stress off-all the noise, chaos, “the crazy” of the day and then I may take a nap. I allow myself time to recharge! I know work sucks the life out of me, but I’m afraid to give it up, because going to work gives me purpose every day. I’m not sure how much longer I will work, but I keep going and if I want to sleep for 3 hours and order-in for dinner then that’s what we will do. I try and eat something healthy, because junk food makes me feel terrible. I hate to decide what to eat so I just pick something not horrible. I don’t really have an appetite but I know food gives strength. I haven’t seen many doctors, but I have learned to listen to my body-it’s the only one I have and I ignored it before and that didn’t work out so well, so I’ve learned a lesson and now I’m different, in so many ways, like it or not. And after 8 years, this is the new me, I’m accepting it, because I’m still around to be with my family.


I would like to thank everyone for their responses. They are very helpful. This week has been a little less stressful and hopeful next week even less so. I have jotted your recomendations into my little (and ever present) notebook and will refer to them when times get rough again.
Thank you very much,


I think stress is something that most everyone in this journey feels. I am happy you are doing better. Mine comes and goes. But so nice to be able to share when it gets really bad. Thanks for sharing makes me feel like not the only one :revolving_hearts::butterfly:

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Sorry didn’t see reply. I don’t know, it’s so weird I made the movie, yet it doesn’t work correctly for me going from google to mac!