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It doesn’t matter where you live. It really doesn’t matter how old you are either. Everyday life has taken a sharp turn and is now on the Highway to Hell.

That time long ago, when you didn’t have a care in this world, when pressure was having to study for your next test and deciding which group of friends you were going to spend your Saturday night with and where you’d go, is already burning behind you. Now, everything is running in the fast lane; projects are due and your boss is constantly breathing down your neck, bills are past due and you have nightmares about the final notices coming in the mail, you have to count pennies and dimes to make ends meet –forget a vacation, what’s that?– and your love life practically is DOA since you have no patience in reserve to fall in love or even put up with someone else’s quirks.

Some might say that I’m overreacting. If you’re one of them, take your cursor up to the right of the screen, click on that red X and be gone. This is not the article for you and I really hate your guts, so don’t even read me. Seriously, get the hell out of here.

If all of this, or even solely one of the things I mentioned above, just brought you 3 seconds closer to that nervous breakdown you’ve been keeping at bay for longer than you can remember, then you can stay.  I feel you. Here at Pillowfights we all do. And that’s why we’ve let this poll run for two weeks instead of our usual. It’s become a norm in this day and age for most people to continuously be on the breaking point and so we decided to ask our readers what it is they do when they see that they’re ready to blow up.

So take a deep breath, maybe you’ll get a couple ideas that don’t involve doing time in the slammer for a “heat of the moment” type of crime.

44% of our readers voted that when they’re hyperventilating and ready to blow their lid, they take a step back and distance themselves from everything to regain their composure. Yes, distancing one’s self works; for a time and under certain circumstances. But you can go as far as you want, for as long as you want – your problems will still be right there waiting for you when you get back. You can regain your strength, maybe even have a completely new perspective when you get back, but you’ll still have to deal with it all.

There are some, on the other hand, fell the need to vent when things have turned to shit and they’re ready to lose theirs. A good 27% of our readers say that they call someone up, or sit down with someone and talk things over. Whether it’s a colleague, a friend, a sibling or parent, or just a random person sitting next to you at a coffee place, you talk out your problems until you come to a solution. Or until someone gives you some advice you can follow. It’s not a coincidence that therapists are still a profession that has not completely taken a blow by the worldwide economic crisis. Everybody needs someone to talk to and with so many problems, each person with their own (I mean, it’s hard enough to deal with your own shit without having other people’s forced on you as well), it makes sense that some may choose to pay a therapist instead of their electric bill.

“The only way to truly forget your problems and not drown in them and go nuts is to go out with friends and drown yourself in loud music, drinks and any other kind of fun you can find!” says a friend of mine. And who am I to say the opposite since 12% of our Pillow-readers agree. Though, if someone were to ask my opinion, I’d say that that too is a placebo with a limited effect and time span. It can help when you’re on the brink of a nervous breakdown, you do forget about everything for a time and you, most importantly of all, enjoy yourself for even just a little bit. It’s a breather, a break. And being surrounded by people that have the same outlet you do is relieving as well. But when you wake up in the morning, it’s all still there demanding the attention of your hangover-ridden head.

Last, but never least, we have our hot heads. They’re a 17% of our readers who won’t do anything to stop catastrophe from coming. They’ll just go bat shit and Heaven help whoever’s in the vicinity of their outburst. See, though I’m not one of these volcanoes, I truly admire them; they’re my favorite people. You know why? Their reactions are pure and undiluted. They give it to you straight, they’re not diplomats and they don’t sugar-coat things. Sure, reactions like theirs maybe over-the-top sometimes, but you don’t have to wonder about what they’re thinking and how they feel. It’s an automatic reaction that they can’t really control. They may have a shorter fuse than the rest but they are in now way hypocrites and they won’t bother beating around the bush. Plus, once they blow, that’s it. They don’t simmer over something menial for months, tossing and turning it around in their minds making a big deal of something that really isn’t. If you need a solution, they are most likely the ones to give it you on a very short notice because their patience is limited as well. And studies say that since they don’t keep much bottled up inside, they live longer too.

Bottom line is that you can’t stop problems from coming your way; that’s just the way life is. And knowing that they’re coming doesn’t necessarily make you ready for them. Life is overwhelming sometimes and it’s natural to find yourself at your wits’ end now and again. Deep breaths and meditation don’t help everyone, so do what you have to. Get away, go out with your friends, talk it out, or just blow your top. Whatever works for you.

But take a chill pill. This too shall pass, in other words.

Although (big secret coming here, shhhhhh) at Pillowfights we’ve found the real solution to avoiding a nervous breakdown – some of us just shut everything out, refuse to deal with all this world’s shit, submerge ourselves in denial and …. write.

Author: Nikoletta Vasilopoulou

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