- 1. Weight Loss. A recent report from the University College London proved that individuals who are chronically stressed have a much higher incident of metabolic syndrome, a condition characterized by hypertension and obesity.
- 2. Happiness.This one may seem impossibly obvious, but it’s too important to leave out. Stress robs a lot from a person, and at the top of the list is happiness. I’ve heard so many people who have learned to manage their stress say things like, “I forgot what it felt like to feel this good.”Think of when you have the flu – you can’t do anything but go from one slumping station to the next…. to the bathroom, to the bedroom, to the bathroom, to the bedroom, then maybe to the living room – - – no, that was too much, back to the bathroom. You can’t get excited about anything on tv, meals lose their importance, and for crying out loud, you can’t even enjoy a great cup of coffee. THEN, the day comes when you finally wake up and the room isn’t spinning, the sun remembers how to shine, you can get dressed again (!!!), and you practically skip to the coffee maker. One of the first things that occurs to you is that you’d forgotten how good goodfeels.Same thing with stress – it’s like the flu in a lot of ways. There are a few trade offs, of course. For example, it doesn’t send you to the bathroom or take away food or coffee – but it lasts a heck of a lot longer and takes a bigger toll.
- 3. Cancer Protection. Stress interferes with our immune system and is often blamed in the medical community for everything from colds to cancer. The sooner a person gets it under control, the sooner their immune system can get back on the job, protecting them from monsters they want no part of.
- 4. Sweeter Sleep. People under a great deal of sleep have terribly interrupted sleep patterns. It’s as though the stressed mind is saying, “I can’t sleep! I have far too many things to stress out over – wake up so I can get to them!”
- 5. Longer life. A University of Florida study puts it this way: Heart disease patients with lower mental stress are less likely to experience a decrease in blood flow to the heart, which can increase the risk of dying three-fold. Want it another way? Stress kills.
- 6. Better Relationships.This is an area that most stress victims are in strong denial over. The majority will tell you, “My relationships don’t suffer any because of my stress…” They’ll even say, “I keep it hidden from everyone else – no one knows the stress I feel.”That’s like hiding a gorilla in a carton of eggs.Speaking of eggs – when one person is suffering from stress, many times the people around him/her are walking around on egg shells. Waiting for the next blow up or melt down. It’s almost as miserable for the shell walkers as it is the stressed person who threw the shells down.
- 7. A healthier heart. The Institute of HeartMath in Boulder, CO. found that
Hypertensive workers who participated in a 16-hour stress reduction program experienced a significant drop in blood pressure. Furhtermore, they benefited from a more positive outlook and a greater sense of peacefulness. Positive outlook? Greater sense of peacefulness? Do you realize how valuable those are????
- 8. Relief from aches and pains. Research shows that stress heightens the suffering of pain and illnesses – if the person had control of their stress, the unpleasant feelings would register maybe a 5 on their pain index. But stress causes the 5 to jump up to a 10 – adding, of course, more stress and more misery. Make no mistake about it, though – they aren’t just saying it feels like a 10, it really does.
- 9. Increased Memory. Those of us all wrapped up in the study of mental fitness love this one! Study after study proves that those who are relaxed and as free from stress as a human can be perform much better on tests than those who are at the mercy of their stress.
- 10. A Better Outlook. When a person suffering from stress looks out the window, it’s always cloudy. They don’t look forward to birthdays, holidays, the St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs, television shows, the new Nicholas Sparks book – nothing excites them. This aspect of their suffering probably makes me the saddest. I can’t stand the thought of someone not being able to get excited about something! If this rings a bell with you at all – please don’t let the sun set on another day of not taking action.
Stress takes over an individual’s life and challenges itself to see how much misery it can cause. It takes away as much happiness, health, and harmony as it can carry off. Left untreated, it’ll take it all. Treated, it won’t make off with a damn thing.
You know how I sign off each post with “Make each moment count double” – well, if stress is in your life it won’t let a moment even count, let alone count double. If you have even a hint of stress in your life – e-mail me and we’ll iron it out together. Rest assured, I don’t have anything to sell you – if I did, and if I knew it would help, I’d give it to you! Also, no one except you and me would ever even know you’d emailed me. I don’t even tell my cats about my e-mail.
I’ve simply spent a lot of years researching stress and stress management and I’d like to help. Sometimes just knowing someone is on your side does a world of good, and stress starts stepping toward the exit. It’s actually a coward, you know!
Make each moment count double,