It has always been common knowledge that stress kills. High stress levels dangerously elevate your cholesterol and your cortisol levels. Scientists have also found a link between stress and the way blood clots, increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems. It is important to differentiate between the types of stress that you may be exposed to.
Our bodies are designed to be able to handle short term acute bouts of stress. This means a life or death situation or some kind of a tragic moment that affects us very deeply. This is why we have a fight or flight mechanism to help us get through a dangerous situation and survive. Also when we are under pressure we are able to gather ourselves together and come up with a solution. This skill can be exercised daily through practicing martial arts but I am saving that for another post. The short term stress may be difficult to deal with at first but we adapt. The real dangerous player in the game is long-term low burning chronic stress…
Many life situations fall under this category. It could be a dead-end job that makes you dread waking up in the morning, or a toxic energy draining relationship you may have with someone. Chronic stress can be your hour and a half commute that seemed “ok” when a new job came along but it quickly became a stressful part of your everyday routine. The elevated cortisol levels from this type of stress can very quickly take effects on the body, storing fat and burning muscle being the most obvious one. Other negative effects include thyroid issues, blood sugar imbalances, decreased bone density, higher blood pressure as well as an overall neurological overload. We have to do something about this kind of stress because it will certainly take years of your life. It doesn’t make sense to eat healthy and exercise regularly if we sabotage ourselves and create a negative environment around us.
To minimize this chronic long term stress I first recommend to start with the way you see the world, your perspective. What I may view as stressful and negative someone else may be more tolerable to it and view it as a minor bump in the road. Both people face the same obstacle but one is much more distraught by it.
We all tend to bring emotions we experienced at work into our home, we overreact in our relationships, we all think that we have the world’s meanest boss. If we were able to just briefly become self aware and realize that what we are experiencing is just a temporary thought or emotion, it would make the situation seem much less permanent and harsh. This is much easier to try before you make serious life changing decisions. If you are reading this now and can think of your own current chronic stress situation, try to look at the situation from a different perspective. “Is this really so bad that I can no longer take it with every ounce of me?” “Is this a temporary discomfort or have I gotten myself into a never ending cycle of stress?”
Do not lie to yourself but rather be honest with yourself. “Am I discouraged simply because my ego is getting the best of me?” There is much more to learn about your ego but for this situation make sure you aren’t stuck doing things to please other people and improve their opinion of you. This life is yours to live and whatever path you blaze through life is exactly the one you should follow.
If after a proper examination you can no longer take your current situation or surroundings then leave. You very often hear older people speak words of regret, you hardly ever hear them being proud of the times they stuck it out. Life is simply too short to spend it beating your head against a wall. Hope you enjoyed this post, have a great day 🙂