I am NOT a doctor…but I know someone who watched the television show HOUSE once.

Speaking of shows on the picture box, how great was Seinfeld? This week’s entry is dedicated to Frank Costanza. Mr. C. was responsible for some of the funniest moments in the shows history and was also notorious for being a having a stress magnet with an astoundingly short fuse!

Stress can lead to higher blood cholesterol, increased blood pressure and make people more prone to developing atherosclerosis, which is the narrowing of the arteries. The relationship between stress and heart disease isn’t exactly clear, but it goes without saying that it’s a volatile union, similar to Frank and Estelle Costanza (and pretty much anyone else who came in contact with Frank)

There are several ways to cope with and annihilate stress in your life. The Heart & Stroke Foundation lists several ways to battle stress. Let’s put Frank under the microscope and see how he measures up:

– Identify the source of your stress. Figure out what is really bothering you, it’s the first step in managing your stress. Whether its confronting George Steinbrenner about the Jay Buhner trade, arguing about the importance of the booth at Monk’s Diner, having your adult son move back in, overseeing the Costanza & Son (and Lloyd Braun) Computer Company, reigning blows on a fellow doll-seeker, having collector TV Guides stolen/defaced, or avoiding spoilers for the movie FireStorm, the source of Frank’s stress comes in many forms.

– Share your feelings. Talking to friends, family or co-workers can help you feel better. F.C. had no problem airing his grievances with people, especially during the holiday he created: Festivus (for the rest of us!) One of the many time-honored traditions is gathering with family and loved ones around an aluminum pole and having Frank scald you about your-shortcomings over the course of the year.

– Be physically active. It can be a great stress-buster and can boost your heart health, too. Be sure to talk to your physician before starting any activity program. Also included in the Festivus festivities are the feats of strength, which has seen Frank challenge attendees to wrestling matches! He also had no qualms about throwing hands with Elaine at the police station when George got arrested for bootlegging films. I wonder if ol’ Frankie consulted his physician about this sort of thing¦

– Eat well. Don’t skip meals because hunger can leave you vulnerable to stress. – Piece of cake. In 1950, Frank was one of the best cooks Uncle Sam ever saw while making meals for the troops during the Korean War. He also cooked delicacies for over 200 Jewish singles many decades later. The man knows his way around the kitchen, that’s for sure.

– Take your vacations. Getting away from it all is important to your mental and physical health. You’re telling me there’s not one condo available in all of Del Boca Vista??? Only Frank could get stressed out about moving/retiring to sunny Florida.

While F-to-the-C did adhere to most of the guidelines, it didn’t really quell his ability to fly off the handle at the drop of hat! But don’t worry, because Frank had his own stress-busting method in the form of two simple words: Serenity Now. Frank repeated this mantra during a period in his life (a whole episodes worth) and it seemed to provide some momentary stress-relief.


So next time your stressed, just think about what Frank Costanza would do, sit back, throw those hands in their air and repeat after me, Serenity Now!, Serenity Now!

[Hoochie Mama]

Dr. Steve, Ph.D. (Pretty Helpful Dude)