Stress kills! It has always been written, and talked about by ordinary people in their daily lives, but mostly in an anecdotal, accepted but easily dismissed fact of life…. But now more and more medical evidence is being discovered after years of research that proves this theory beyond a doubt. According to my Google sources: “Stress is a measure of your mental and physical resistance to circumstances beyond your control. Stressors are threats, demands, or changes to which you attach special, significant importance, and with which you may struggle or feel uncertainty.”
These sources go on to say that: “Common stressors include the loss of a vital connection through death or the emotional longing for someone who is unavailable, especially a spouse or family members; financial distress; being overworked at your job, at home, or in your studies; care taking; workplace and personal relationship struggles; divorce; and other fears of loss and inability to meet external demands.”
There is a documentary out now called: “Stress: Portrait of a Killer” and it graphically illustrates how “Prolonged exposure to stress can ruin your health in a multitude of ways:You are more vulnerable to the adverse effects of stress if you feel like you have no control, no way out, feel like things are getting worse, and have little social support. Common health conditions caused or worsened by stress include heart disease, hypertension, impaired immune function, infertility, and mental illness.”
So there you have it, all the hard cold facts, all the recognized and accepted medical reasons to explain something that we all know about in the back of our minds but somehow conveniently tend to ignore in applying and incorporating any kind of anti stress mechanisms in our daily lives….
Sorry if this sounds more like a boring, dreaded Public Service Announcement than a personal blog, but it is a topic that I definitely take personally…. I have been aware of this “Silent Killer” for many years now, because for many years I too was a victim of it myself…And I have constantly and continuously tried to warn my friends and family about the hidden dangers of stress…
In fact, i take the whole stress theory a step further, because I sincerely believe that we all have the genes for various forms of cancer, liver disease, heart attacks, strokes and a myriad of other diseases within each and every one of our bodies, in varying degrees based on genetic propensities, and that ordinarily they just lie there in a dormant state…
But I firmly believe that, depending on your family history of susceptibility to any of these common diseases, it is STRESS that brings them out, it is like stress is the on-off switch that flips all these dormant genes on and turns them into active diseases….
When I was younger I used to toss and turn night after night, worrying about how I would have enough money to pay bills that had to be paid, to get the rent money all in order, to make sure there was always enough money for groceries and the necessities…
Slowly but surely over the years, as I approached the break even point financially, and then finally was able to get my head over water, to get out from under, the stress magically disappeared…The bills all ended up getting paid anyway, no matter how much I had stressed about them, in due time…. Well the important ones anyway, and the stress I had been feeling was just magically gone!
It was then, and only then, that I realized that the bills would have got paid in any case, because I have always been a hard worker, for 45 years, and that the stress was in no way helpful or conducive in any way to solving my problems or paying a single bill….In short, the stress never helped me one bit, the constant nagging worry, the sleepless nights, were all unnecessary, and ironically this was all caused by self induced stress that I put myself through…I put the stress on myself, and it took me many years to realize that it was all for nothing….
In fact, i was lucky not to have suffered from hypertension, a stroke or a heart attack myself during these middle years of my life, I used to worry so much….But like they say, when you are in the middle of something you can’t see around it, like the old “you can’t see the forest for the trees” analogy…I have had to learn to accept that worrying myself to death (for some people, this is a literal reaction), by stressing over things unnecessarily, was purely a negative emotion, and was not helpful in any way, and was most definitely harmful in almost every way…..
The bottom line is, stress kills! And this gut feeling I developed and always thought was unique and original to me is now being backed up by reputable medical research and documented scientific studies and mounting evidence of the validity of my basic theory…..I am willing to bet that as medical research progresses even a few steps further, my own unique take on this concept, that stress is the “trigger” that activates many of these diseases, will also be proven correct…
It is like, instead of stressing, which does absolutely no good, we just need to learn to consciously take a deep breath, every single day, every single time we start to feel stressed, we just need to remind ourselves to relax…. And maybe remember the wisdom of that old Spanish song:
“Que sera, sera”:…..”Whatever will be, will be, the future’s not ours to see, Que sera, sera.”