Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stress Can Make Us Sick

All of us know that stress can make us sick but there is a disconnect in our society when it comes to actually realizing the impact of stress upon our life. If you don't believe me, just monitor how much time you spend relaxing and releasing stress in your life and how much others around you do the same thing. I have seen many people come in for a massage that is more like a treat than something healthy that they should do as often as they go through their week at a job.

Yet, we as humans and maybe more in our society push ourselves past our limits every day. Maybe it is this way in the whole world, I do not know because I am not able to travel and check it out. In our days, we have our jobs, our family functions and our organizational functions which we must attend. We are running here and there for everything, everyone and anything it seems. There is never a dull moment in our lives except when we are maybe watching the TV as we doze off to sleep. Our blackberry and iphone are filled with our schedule of many tasks we need to complete and we live to check those off one at a time.

Where is the sanity in staying so busy and treating our bodies as if they are a robot that is destined to be our servant in life? Where is the enjoyment of life when we can barely stop and smell the roses or notice the sounds of the birds waffling by our ears? Where is the the warmth of touch on our lives when we fail to connect with anyone around us in a meaningful way?

We all know that we push ourselves harder than we should and yet, many of us do very little about that. Maybe it is because we are not comfortable being alone in our body and in our mind for there are parts we just don't want to think about. Maybe you have been raised to believe that an idol mind is the devils playground. Some of us may feel that our self worth is defined by how much we accomplish and how successful we appear that we have become. Others may feel that it is our sense of duty or responsibility to never stop for fear of letting someone down in our life or letting ourselves down. There are many reasons and most of them need to be challenged to the core in our life.

Regardless of the reason, it is undeniable that what goes on in our mind and in our life is what is reflected in our body. They are one and the same. You cannot separate the two as hard as you might like to separate them. We can make ourselves sick because we do not stop and take care of ourselves. We can also make ourselves whole by stopping to really focus on our body, mind and spirit. It really is that easy and it is that difficult.

Consider the quote from the book, "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers" by Robert M. Sapolsky on pages 2 and 3.

We have come to recognize the vastly complex intertwining of our biology and our emotions, the endless ways in which our personalities, feelings, and thoughts both reflect and influence the events in our bodies.

Extreme emotional disturbances can adversely affect us. Stress can make us sick, and a critical shift in medicine had been the recognition that many of the damaging diseases of slow accumulation can either be caused or made far worse by stress.

Further Reading:
Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky

Blog Post & Images (c) 12/6/10 Don Shetterly - use by permission only

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