A Boiling Pot = A Stress Lesson

I turned the stove to maximum to boil the soup stock. Invariably, I ended up with a mess around the element from the boiling soup.

I realized that I could accomplish the same thing and bring the soup stock to a boil, simply by choosing a lower temperature.

How much energy are you using to get through your day? Is it efficient, or are you burning and boiling at a higher temperature than necessary and making a mess of things?

There are two branches of the Autonomic Nervous System.

  • The Sympathetic Nervous System is like a stove with the burner on maximum heat.
  • The Parasympathetic Nervous System is an element that is turned off.

We function best when there is a balance between the two.

Initially, many people are in "overheat". Like that pot of bubbling broth, the Sympathetic Nervous System is on "High". Gogogogogo - until then they boil over or burn out - the nervous system becomes worn out, and the scene is set for ill-health.

Learn to lower your "temperature" and achieve more with less energy.

8 Replies to “A Boiling Pot = A Stress Lesson”

  1. Hi Marianna,

    What a great analogy! I love it 🙂

    Using mindfulness or other types of breathing exercises such as biofeedback helps slow us down so as to not to be working at the “high” bubbling broth level!

  2. I think your blog was in overheat when I tried to leave a comment earlier. I just invested in a new pot/pan on the lines of a pressure cooker. It allows me to turn the heat right down.

    As someone with unstable angina, stress is to be avoided where possible. I have learned over the years to switch off in stressful situations and let them float above and away from me.

  3. Thanks for your feedback Dorlee. We all know what happens to a pot if it is left to boil for too long, too.

    That’s one apropos way to put it. 🙂

    That “floating” analogy is a good one. I use something similar when I need to reach for something with my wonky elbow.

  4. Having now been a house husband for over a decade, I well know what happens to milk and other liquids when the temperature is not managed. Great analogy.

  5. Marianna,
    What a vivid post, and I agree with Dorlee, a terrific metaphor!

    Having made a bit of a ‘mess’ from time to time in my own life amidst projects, change efforts and even day-to-day tasks, I empathize with your ‘roiling soup’ story.

    What a great reminder of the ‘control’ we all possess in dialing up the appropriate ‘heat’ to move through our initiatives in a more balanced and less energy-depleting (i.e., healthy) way.


  6. This is exactly why I sail. It is a great way to turn down the heat and get back to a more centered and controlled (and ultimately more useful) life-fire.
    Thank you for using the word “roiling”. I was once chastised about the use of that word. The chastiser claimed I had made the word, even though I was able to provide an accurate definition without skipping a beat. I didn’t hold any grudges though and married her anyway.
    Great post and great point.

  7. Excellent post, Mariana. I just wrote something similar. We all have to learn to breathe!!

  8. Ramana,
    Did you share the cooking responsibilities with Urmeela?

    Another benefit is that I don’t have to work so hard to clean the pots. Oooo, this metaphor just continues on – repairing relationships that have been burned because of boiling temperatures.

    I think the messes will always be a part of our life, but it’s comforting to know that they can be cleaned up much easier and with far less effort.

    You made me laugh! 🙂 That’s another good temperature controller! (Glad that I helped you win one, although it sounds like you didn’t need any help from me! LOL!)

    Thanks for stopping by.

    I’ll be paying you a visit to see where your thoughts led you.

    It’s a worthwhile visit to Beth’s blog at http://bethhavey.wordpress.com/.

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