….of illness… Very few death certificates cite cause of death as “stress” but stress can land someone in the hospital with illness because of a weakened immune system. Stress should be taken very seriously.
Well this past week hit me hard. I am a staunch advocate of nutrition (in diet and supplements), exercise and eating right. Do I follow all of these to the “T” 100% of the time in my own life? No, but I’m really good at making sure I have my nutritional supplement daily; I try to get some exercise in every week and I make a conscientious effort to eat right (most of the time). I have to say it’s hard to control a sweet tooth, but I try!
Even when I do all these things “right”, but if I ignore the rigors of long term stress, all these efforts will not give maximum efficiency in my body. According to WebMD:
High stress levels over a long period of time (chronic stress) can cause serious health problems such as high blood pressure. And high stress can weaken your immune system and make it difficult for your body to fight disease. Stress is linked to health conditions such as depression, heart disease, and asthma.
I have learned, the hard way, that this statement is true. The last four weeks have been extraordinarily and unrelentingly stressful and I have been unable to manage as well as I’d have liked. As a result, for the first time ever, my blood pressure was slightly higher than what is normally very healthy for me (I’ve never had high blood pressure in my medical history). In addition, my immune system was dreadfully compromised despite all my other efforts of “staying healthy” and I became susceptible to illnesses all around me. And some of the event stressors of the last four weeks have brought me nearly to tears. So stress is VERY REAL… and its toll on one’s body is also very real.
I haven’t been sick for almost a year, until this past week/weekend. And again, I point out that it’s not for lack of nutrition, eating right or exercise – but rather to long term unchecked chronic stress. You don’t have to learn this lesson the hard way. You can learn from my oversight on the power of stress on one’s overall health by learning from my mistake.
WebMD is merely one resource to touch upon stress, stress measurements, and stress management. Don’t let stress take you down and out. Learn to identify it in your life, follow guidelines for stress management and then act. Test your stress here:
In conclusion, I sit here typing this blog entry struggling to get over the bronchitis that threatens to steal my very breath away with the haunts of “don’t get pneumonia” from those around me who are concerned. I don’t intend to get pneumonia, nor any other debilitating illness if I have any choice about it. And I do. Right now, it starts with stress management techniques that I need to get serious about and act on. I will keep on keeping on, but in a less stressful way.
Life is but a once-go-around… make it the best you can because there are no do-overs.
P.S. Bring on Spring, that will help!