This guest post is from Janet Matthews, author of “Is Stress Your Silent Killer?” I like the way Janet shares her personal story and its happy ending. Listen as Janet speaks from personal experience about the stress that used to undermine her health and well-being.
Stress is an integral part of our lives. In fact, we can’t live without it. It motivates us to try harder, it motivates us to achieve and it motivates us to feel alive and vital.
However, the other side of the coin is that if it becomes a chronic condition it affects our health and well being and can actually deplete our immune systems resulting in chronic disease that may well cost us our lives.
So, you can see that stress is a two-edged sword. It can make you feel alive and energised on the one hand or it can devastate your life on the other. What do we need to do to ensure that we use stress to our advantage and not to our detriment?
First of all, it is important to be aware of what the stresses are in our lives. We all have those occasions such as an event to organise, be it a party or a wedding, that cause us stress, but on the whole these occasions, though stressful, are positive and pleasant and they are also short lived. The stress is heightened before and during the occasion but afterwards the stress has gone.
However, there are other stresses such as those caused by work, domestic problems, financial worries and so forth that are far from positive and pleasant and are very often long term stresses that put a tremendous strain on our lives.
Without going into too much detail about how stress plays out in our bodies, it is important to understand that chronic stress, defined as stress that is with us day in day out, results in constant high levels of cortisol being pumped into the body and this, in turn, has a very negative effect on our immune systems.
A depleted immune system has a negative effect on our health. The immune system is responsible for keeping inflammation in check and inflammation is responsible for many of our common diseases. Inflammation causes pain, whether it is headaches, arthritis or muscular pain. Inflammation causes havoc.
So, the million dollar question is, “How can we deal effectively with stress to lessen the devastating effects it can have on our bodies?”
Of course, the answer to this question will inevitably be multifaceted. There are numerous techniques that will help you to deal with stress: Meditation techniques to yoga to massage therapy to finding a hobby and so forth. All of these techniques and therapies are an invaluable part of your stress-busting arsenal.
I would like to suggest that there is also a way of reducing your stress in the first place by understanding the way you respond to certain situations and how you handle them.
In my book “Is Stress Your Silent Killer?” I describe my own journey of realisation of how I was actually exacerbating my stress by the way I was dealing with it. In fact, I was making my stress far worse than it needed to be. By examining my behavior, I was able to find more appropriate ways of living my life that have helped me to decrease the amount of stress I have in my life.
I discovered primarily how my ego was sabotaging my life and how my ingrained belief system, that I had amassed throughout my life, was actually not helpful to the way I was dealing with the stresses of my life. Through constant awareness I was able to make the necessary subtle changes to simplify my life and ultimately lessen my stress.
So the question remains: “Is Stress Your Silent Killer?”
Are you sabotaging your life because of your beliefs? And, if so, what are you going to do about it?
I share my personal story in my book. When you read it, see if it speaks to you in any way. My hope for you is that you may be able to dig yourself out of the physical and mental ruts caused by your own stress.
Note from Kathryn: You can order “Is Stress Your Silent Killer” through both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
Here are the links: