3 things nobody avoids
Many of us know the famous saying that says that there’s two things in life nobody can avoid – death and taxes. As I’ve had the chance to speak with thousands of people over the past several years I believe there’s actually a third thing that nobody avoids as well – stress (death and taxes can certainly bring its share of stress as well).
It’s an interesting topic because everybody feels it, but if you were to ask someone to define stress you’d probably see themthink about it for a moment before answering. If you were to then ask them if they think it affects them, it’s been my experience that most people would answer “no, not really.” Believing the misconception that stress doesn’t have a strong affect on you however, can be very damaging to your physical, emotional and social life.
I want you to think for a moment about how you physically feel whenever somebody gives you news that makes you stress out. This could be failing to reach goals at work or being late to something because of traffic. For most people one of the first physical sensations they feel is their shoulders or neck tightening up. Have you ever wondered how that is? It’s because our minds and bodies are inseparably connected. The way we mentally react to situations causes a chain reaction biochemically. In fact, when your body senses or feels stress there are loads of hormones released into our body that physically prepare for fight or flight mode. This actually makes stress vital to survival. Many times the best comes out of us when we feel like our backs are against the wall.
The real problem though is that very few people know how to bring closure to the cycle, event or episode that initiated the stress. Instead they brush it off and work hard to overcome whatever obstacle is causing the stress and “move on.” Here’s the problem with that – when there is no closure, thousands of your body’s neurons are left in alert. These alerts stay with us in our subconscious and their effects continue even while we sleep. When that happens, every single stressful situation has a residual effect that accumulates over time. I’ve see it thousands of times, where people have chronic issues such as inflammation, sore joints, bad backs, intestinal problems, weakened immune systems, cancer and the list goes on. As I’ve spoken to them, and as we’ve peeled back the layers together, the root problem for these chronic conditions has always been stress.
In future posts I’ll share much more on this topic and provide detail and insight into what I’ve seen work for people to manage and bring closure their stresses to start living a happier life. For now I’d invite you to give some thought as to things that currently causes stress in your life. Write them down. Write down why they stress you out. Is what you’re feeling based on false perceptions that aren’t real threats? Begin to think this through with a friend or family member. Many times writing and talking can be a great first step to begin alleviating yourself of the burden. In my next post I’ll write more about the root causes of stress.
Originally posted August 28, 2014