Why Stress Is So Dangerous & How to Conquer It
Stress is a killer. It contributes to strokes, heart attacks, cancer, and accidents. Workplace stress has been called the health epidemic of the 21st century. It costs businesses hundreds of billions of dollars a year. People who are pessimistic, inflexible and see themselves as victims are more vulnerable to stress.
What exactly is stress? It is a physical, mental and emotional response to danger, threats, and demands.
A Threat to
identity, self-esteem, self-worth,
Sources of Stress
major life changes
loss of control
demands of work
demands of relationships
sense of lack/incompetency
illness/death of loved ones
physical, emotional, mental tension
muscle rigidity and pain
headaches and diarrhea
weakened immune system/ more susceptible to disease
depression, negativity, irritability, anxiety
hostile, angry, pessimistic, critical
restless, inability to concentrate, memory impairment
speeds up aging (chronic stress shortens life span of cells by 9 to 17 years)
lack of appetite or overeating
insomnia, digestive problems
contributes to major diseases
poisons brains cells
“Brain cells create ideas. Stress kills brain cells. Stress is not a good idea.” Frederick Saunders
STRESS TEST: Make very tight fists with both hands and hold to the count of 5. Let go. Notice the lingering tension in your hands.
To release the tension, shake your hands and wiggle your fingers, interlock fingers and stretch. Notice the difference. Tension that is not counteracted and released builds up in the body causing chronic pain.
We find situations stressful when we feel threatened and because of what we tell ourselves: I’m in trouble. I can’t keep up. I’m losing control. I’m not getting what I want, expect, need.
Change your interpretation of a situation and you change its effect on you.
The body reacts to what the mind thinks. It works the other way around as well. Relaxing the body calms the mind and emotions.
“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” Lily Tomlin
Everyone accumulates stress all day long from pressures large and small, real and imagined. Here’s how to let it go…
BREATHE: Just 3–5 minutes of deep breathing a couple of times a day can reduce mental, emotional & physical stress.
SOUND: Energy moves on sound. Talking, sighing, crying releases emotional tension.
LAUGH: Laughter increases blood flow to heart and other organs countering contraction of blood vessels and muscles.
MOVE: Exercise, stretch, walk, dance. Movement helps release tension and repair physical damage caused by stress.
WRITE. It helps to organize thoughts and express emotions.
MAKE A LIST. Put things in order of priority and tackle them one at a time. Multi-tasking is distracting, causes mistakes and impedes progress.
THINK positive thoughts.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. Exercise. Get a massage. Take a walk.
MEDITATION relaxes mind and body.
Originally published at www.gerioneill.com on March 16, 2016.