Which of these is stress?
- You receive a promotion at work.
- Your car has a flat tire.
- You go to a fun party that lasts till 2:00 am.
- Your dog gets sick.
- Your new bedroom set is being delivered.
- Your best friend and his wife come to stay at your house for
- You get a bad case of hay fever.
- All of the above.
ALL OF THESE ARE STRESS
If you are used to thinking
that stress is something that makes you worry, you have the wrong
idea of stress. Stress is many
different things: happy things, sad things, allergic things, physical
things. Many people carry enormous stress loads and they do
not even realize it.
WHAT IS STRESS?
We are all familiar with
the word stress. Stress
is when you are worried about getting laid off from your job, or
worried about having enough money to pay your bills, or worried about
your mother when the doctor says she may need an operation. In
fact, to most of us, stress is synonymous with worry. If it
is something that makes you worry, then it is stress.
Your body, however, has
a much broader definition of stress. TO YOUR BODY, STRESS IS SYNONYMOUS WITH CHANGE. Anything
that causes a change in your life causes stress. It doesn'tt
matter if it is a good change, or a bad change,
they are both a form of stress. When you find your dream apartment
and get ready to move, that is stress. If you break your leg,
that is stress. Good or bad, if it is a CHANGE in your life,
it is stress as far as your body is concerned.
Even IMAGINED CHANGE is
stress (imagining changes is what we call worrying.) If you fear that you will
not have enough money to pay your rent, that is stress. If you
worry that you may get fired, that is stress. If you think that
you may receive a promotion at work, that is also stress (even though
this would be a good change). Whether the event is good or bad,
imagining changes in your life is stressful.
Anything that causes CHANGE IN YOUR DAILY ROUTINE is stressful.
Anything that causes CHANGE IN YOUR BODY HEALTH is stressful.
IMAGINED CHANGES are just as stressful as real changes.
Let us look at several
types of stress ones
that are so commonplace that you might not even realize that they
When arguments, disagreements,
and conflicts cause CHANGES in your personal life that is
Catching a cold, breaking an arm, a skin infection, a sore back,
are all CHANGES in your body condition.
Pushing Your Body Too Hard
A major source of stress
is overdriving yourself. If you are working (or partying) 16 hours
a day, you will have
reduced your available
time for rest. Sooner or later, the energy drain on your system
will cause the body to fall behind in its repair work. There
will not be enough time or energy for the body to fix broken cells,
or replace used up brain neurotransmitters. CHANGES will occur
in your bodys internal environment. You will hit the
wall, or run out of gas. If you continue,
permanent damage may be done. The bodys fight to stay healthy
in the face of the increased energy that you are expending is
Very hot or very cold
climates can be stressful. Very
high altitude may be a stress. Toxins or poisons are a stress. Each
of these factors threatens to cause CHANGES in your bodys internal
The Special Case of Tobacco Use
Tobacco is a powerful
toxin!! Smoking destroys
cells that clean your trachea, bronchi, and lungs. Smoking causes
emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which progress to slow suffocation. The
carbon monoxide from cigarette smoking causes chronic carbon monoxide
poisoning. Tobacco use damages the arteries in your body, causing
insufficient blood supply to the brain, heart, and vital organs. Cigarette
smoking increases the risk of cancer 50 fold.
Chewing tobacco or snuff
is no safe haven. It
also damages your arteries, and it carries the same cancer risk.
(Cancers of the head and neck are particularly vicious, disfiguring,
Poisoning the body with
carbon monoxide, and causing the physical illnesses of emphysema,
cancer, and arterial damage, tobacco is a powerful source of added
stress to ones life.
The vast hormonal changes
of puberty are severe stressors. A persons body actually
CHANGES shape, sexual organs being to function, new hormones are
released in large quantities.
Puberty, as we all know is very stressful.
Once a woman passes puberty,
her body is designed to function best in the presence of female
hormones. For women
past puberty, a lack of female hormones is a major stress on the
body. Once a month, just prior to menstruation, a womans
hormone levels drop sharply. In many women, the stress of sharply
falling hormones is enough to create a temporary OVERSTRESS. This
temporary OVERSTRESS is popularly know as Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
Following a pregnancy,
hormone levels CHANGE dramatically. After a normal childbirth
or a miscarriage, some women may be thrown into OVERSTRESS by loss
of the hormones of pregnancy.
There is another time
in a womans life
when hormone levels decline. This is menopause. The decline
of hormones during menopause is slow and steady. Nevertheless,
this menopausal decline causes enough stress on the body to produce
OVERSTRESS in many women.
Taking Responsibility for Another Persons Actions
When you take responsibility
for another persons
actions, CHANGES occur in your life over which you have little or
no control. Taking responsibility for another persons
actions is a major stressing factor.
Allergic reactions are
a part of your bodys
natural defense mechanism. When confronted with a substance,
which your body considers toxic, your body will try to get rid
of it, attack it, or somehow neutralize it. If it is something
that lands in your nose, you might get a runny, sneezy nose. If
it lands on your skin, you might get blistered skin. If
you inhale it, you'lll get wheezy lungs. If you eat it,
you may break out in itchy red hives all over your body. Allergy
is a definite stress, requiring large changes in energy expenditure
on the part of your bodys defense system to fight off what
the body perceives as a dangerous attack by an outside toxin.