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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

So what is stress, anyways?

Stress is a bit like a weed.

What have I been smokin', you ask? Stress is like a weed?

Before you send me off to the rehab center, allow me to explain. Weeds, when you get down to it, are plants that are growing where they don't belong. So a corn plant in the middle of a bean field is a weed. (But a corn plant in a corn field is obviously not a problem.)

So it can be with stress - especially with the so-called 'good' stress. Consider a promotion or getting married. These are typically considered 'happy' events yet they are often stressful. Any situation or precipitant that weighs on the body, the mind or the spirit is a form of stress.

Even seemingly small stressors over time can cause big problems. Think of the small leak in the roof. No big deal at first. But then the little leak grows and suddenly there is a big problem as more and more ceiling damage is uncovered.

Or consider the person who is asked to hold an apple in his palm with the arm maximally extended outward. No big deal, right? NO? Try it! Sure the first few seconds is fine. Maybe even the first few minutes. But after thirty minutes or so, you'd need to call an ambulance for that unlucky guy! The moral of the story is: even small stressors can give you a lot of trouble if you have to carry them over a long period of time.

Be careful with stress. It is a problem that hides itself silently in the form of hypertension and other 'silent' killers.

Define your stress really well. What things make you upset? What things make you angry? What things make you sad? frustrated? What things make you feel powerless or helpless? Knowing what stresses you is the first step in doing something about it!

Good luck! If you need any help, please email me via rudy@happysolutions.net

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