The Monster in the Room: Stress (Part 1 of 4)
When we look around at others we often focus on our differences – he’s so much stronger, she's so much fitter, they seem so much happier.
As we shared in our previous post, “That Fit Person Who has it All Together, Doesn’t”, we have become super adept at magnifying differences and ignoring out similarities. Yet we are all much more similar that you may think.
For one thing every person you come across shares at least one destructive element in their life with you. Stress is a universal paralyzer, destroyer and killer. No one can escape it. Stress comes with the patterns we live, the problems that inevitably come, the choices we make, the world that surrounds us. It unifies all of us in a health-threatening cocoon.
Stress gets a lot of headlines:
“Is Stress Making You Sick?”
“How Well Do You Handle Stress?”
“Work Stress Can Kill You as Much as Second Hand Smoke”
“Stress During Pregnancy Can Affect the Baby’s Coordination”
It’s enough to stress you out just reading about the condition’s dire consequences.
Why is (bad) Stress So Bad for Us?
No doubt you’ve heard that in the early days of humans, stress was a good thing. It created the fight or flight response which kept us running for our lives and overcoming obstacles to our existence. In that regard, stress was a life-saver.
But a combination of things changed that. With the growth of human civilization the stress of chasing or being chased by animals was added to the stress of living with other humans. Overcrowding, personal and cultural differences and disagreements led to fighting, war, and nation-building. You can see how as more of us came on the scene, there were more opportunities for stress to raise its ugly head.
Add to that illness and injury and loss and you’ve got the perfect formula for a world primed to suffer from some form of stress.
Flash forward to 2015. We’ve got those old world stressors built into our DNA now. But now we have other stress inducing parameters to deal with – high stakes jobs, financial worries, global problems and the pressures we’ve elected to take on just for fun – like not measuring up to others….
This witch’s brew has resulted in a devastating multi-pronged curse that offers up countless diseases, depression, anxiety, dissatisfaction, anger and general malaise to any and all reluctant takers.
Everywhere you look is an opportunity to get stressed out. From the stalled traffic on the way to work, to the poor health of family or friends, to the struggles of those you love, or to much more "vanilla" things that you don't even realize are stressing you out (i.e. constant technology, poor food choices, bad sleep habits, etc.).
When you add up this constant pressure and apply it to your psyche and your body you can just imagine what our cave dwelling fore-parents felt when they were cornered by a saber-toothed tiger.
So What’s a Warrior to Do?
Believe it or not there are many ways you can relieve stress in your body and in your mind. You can even use stress as a positive tool to move your life forward in a joyful and peaceful way.
In our 3 part series called "The Effects of Stress", we give you tips and strategies on what to watch out for, how to reduce stress and even how to harness it to help you change your life for the better.
Look for our first post on stress and your body coming soon. And for more tips on how you can improve your health habits today, check out, 5 Ways To Help You Consume The Almighty Vegetable.
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