Life is full of stressful moments. We’ve all experienced common, everyday stress brought on by job interviews, exams, illnesses, etc. These types of short-term stresses are normal and can even be positive in some cases by increasing alertness and preparing us to handle adverse situations.
Stress-filled events occurring over a long period of time, however, may cause chronic stress that can lead to severe health problems. There are many factors that can contribute to stress. The most ironic is probably the fact that health issues, such as diabetes or heart disease, can cause stress, which in turn may lead to other health problems.
Many times, stress is induced by emotional problems, such as pent-up anger and frustration that goes unexpressed, grief, depression, guilt or low self-esteem. Major life changes including the death of a loved one, marriage, divorce, losing your job or the birth of a child are all common stressors.
It’s important to note that stress is exacerbated by the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs — outlets that have been proven to keep the body in a stressed state.
Recognizing the signs of stress
Stress affects us psychologically and physically. Common physical effects include headache, muscle tension or pain, chest pain, fatigue, reduced sex drive, upset stomach and sleep deprivation. Common psychological effects are anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation, irritability and depression.
There are strategies for coping with stress that are proven effective. Recent studies have shown that one of the most successful coping mechanisms for regulating emotions, managing tension and facilitating relaxation is listening to music.
That’s right! Music can stimulate and soothe, calm and energize; it can change our mood and help us concentrate, while at the same time, taking our minds off of the daily stressors in our lives. A favorite tune can be a wonderful pick-me-up when you’re stressed.
Listening to music is a safe, mood-boosting activity you can enjoy when you’re unwinding after a day on the road, cooking dinner or working out. While it’s understood that choosing music that will have the desired effect is a matter of personal preference, we’ve taken the liberty of including the titles of some of our favorite truck-driving themed songs. Enjoy!
- Roll On (18 Wheeler) — Alabama
Told from the point of view of a truck driver’s children who just want him to, “Roll on daddy, ‘til you get back home.”
- Give Me 40 Acres (To Turn This Rig Around) — Willis Brothers
What else can you say to a cop who pulls you over for going the wrong way down a one-way street in Boston?
- Tombstone Every Mile — Dick Curless
Ever driven in Aroostook County, Maine? If you do, be careful driving through the Hainesville Woods.
- Six Days on the Road — Dave Dudley
Tells of the joys and hardships of being on the road and the glorious anticipation of getting back home again.
- East Bound and Down — Jerry Reed
A top-40 hit from the sound track to the classic trucker movie, Smokey and the Bandit.
- Convoy — C.W. McCall
This song helped popularize the CB craze of the 70’s and kept us on the lookout for “Bears”.
- Truck Drivin’ Man — Boxcar Willie
Written and recorded by Terry Fell in 1954, it’s been recorded by over 50 artists. We like Boxcar’s version.
- Phantom 309 — Red Sovine
A classic take on a popular ghost story theme.
- I’ve Been Everywhere — Johnny Cash
How many of these towns have you been to?
- 60,000 Pounds of Bananas — Harry Chapin
A silly little song, the live version will have you tapping your fingers and laughing out loud.
- Blue Highway — Billy Idol
On having American pride on the big, long, “blue” highway.
- Teddy Bear — Red Sovine
A trucking tearjerker.
Do you have a few favorites songs or stress coping methods of your own? Share them with us at www.facebook.com/ConwayTruckload.