Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stress and Health

We always did have to worry about food, clothing and shelter, but our world gets more complex as we go, producing different kinds of stress.

For example, our ancestors had to worry about a successful hunt or harvest, but being a good marksman or nurturer of a plot of land or finder of edible and medicinal wild plants would have been enough.

Today, though, we might train in one career and then get phased out of it and have to learn a new career. And that might be jeopardized by corporate mergers or off-shoring.

Stress can create false appetites and a person might eat more than they need to relieve their anxiety, whereas in earlier times they might simply have eaten to satisfy hunger.

People can get stressed from looking for jobs or better paying jobs. People can also get stressed from too many choices. Going to the store to shop for simple items can be a daunting task. Which ones have the combination of best ingredients and best price?

There is stress from worry over investments. People save money figuring that it will increase as they move toward retirement, but then they see the values go down.

Even though doctors or scientists may not agree, I think that a lot of modern illnesses are caused by stress. Everybody knows about high blood pressure and heart conditions and stress, but what about ADD or ADHD? Could a lot of that simply be a result of all the demands for multi-tasking? People get frazzled with short attention spans, but think about how often jobs demand that we take phone calls, do work on a number of computer screens and do something else all at the same time?

We have already mentioned stress related over eating. What about fibromyalgia? Could it be that stress plays a part in causing that too? I don't think that anyone has to use their imagination to see how short tempers in traffic or in stores result from stress.

How many forms of cancer might be fueled by stress? Maybe even Alzheimer's might be influenced by stress. Perhaps after a lifetime of the stress of work and responsibility, the brain just sporadically overloads and quits working.

Think of what happens with our computers. We have our email open to send some messages, we might be writing or designing a document, doing some calculations, and looking up some things on websites. Then all of a sudden it just freezes and needs to be rebooted.

As I say, I have no scientific proof to offer, just intuition. What I notice is that the more hectic the pace of our lives has become, the more new ailments pop up.

So, if you are interested, there are many ways to reduce stress. They may do you a lot of good. If you are looking for new ideas in this area, they are all around. If you would like me to show you some, just ask.

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