Focus on the Family

Stress

by Edward R. Dayton

We all need relief valves. They can save a lot of time that we would normally take cleaning up the mess caused by personal explosions.

When we installed a new hot water heater, I discovered a local ordinance that says there has to be a relief valve hooked up somewhere in the water system. If for some reason the thermostat doesn't turn off the gas under the boiler, and the boiler is so hot it is ready to explode, the valve will pop off, and pressure will be relieved. Things may stay just as hot under the boiler, but at least it won't blow up all over the house.

One of the most effective, long-range relief valves is to recognize what causes the buildup of pressure. If you see by your calendar that you are in for a few heavy weeks or too many late nights, block out some relief-valve time. This might be a half-day, whole day or extended weekend. Take yourself out of your normal situation. Place yourself in a situation in which past experience has shown you can forget what is going on. This may mean a day alone at the beach or the mountains, a day with your family, or a weekend away with your husband or wife. It's a big help if couples will discuss their future schedules together to identify where the overload problems are and schedule in breaks in the routine.

In addition to the count-to-10 pressure reliever with which most of us are familiar, there are some others: