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Stress and the Healthy Life Style

This morning I woke up and was struck by the thought that in all of the business of the last few weeks, I had forgotten to pay the bills. Immediately I felt my blood pressure start to rise. Thoughts of late fees, and all the fun "we will be turning off your electricity if we don't hear from you," letters, not to mention having to admit my mistake to my wife, just added to the knot in my stomach. A little bit later I was in a conversation about on of our children and the cost of something he wants to do over the summer. Again, a few more points on the stress meter. This started me thinking about the impact of stress on a persons life, and what can be done about it.

Stress is a mental or physiological reactions to a real or perceived experience that creates exciitment or alarm. Researchers tell us that constant stress can lead to illness. Some people experience stress as a feeling of being overwhelmed or dread. Others look at it as a call to action or a challenge to rise to. We all responde to stress and feel stress in different ways. Most of us will respond with either a Fright Fight, or Flight, response. That is to say that we either get frozen by stress, like a deer caught in headlights (fright), we rise up to the situation and take it head on, (Fight), or we withdraw and find some type of coping mechanizm like eating, sleeping or finding some form of distraction from the reality that is producing the stress.

There are many ways a person can cope with rising stress levels, and much is written on this topic. There are breathing exercises, and meditation techniques. Some people exercise to reduce the anxiety that stress produces. But ultimatly removing the stress comes with working through the situation that caused the stress to begin with.

The reality is that if we are going to live Healthy Lives, we must find a way to deal with the stress as we experience it (and part of life is experiencing stress), and we most be willing to face the issues that create stress in our lives and find ways to resolve, solve, or deal with the situations that are affecting us. Once again, this is a battle worth fighting, if it means living healthy in an unhealthy world.

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