On Thursday, May 23, at 6 p.m. at Ida Rupp Public Library in Port Clinton, David Prudhomme and Ruth Scheider, local authors of “From Stressed to Best” will be offering a free talk.
From their article on stress:
“Stress is often misunderstood. Some people think of stress as “Good” - spurring them to action or “Bad” - paralyzing them and keeping them from action. Studies are now showing that stress causes or exacerbates 85% of all illness, and that it is the root cause of many problems from relationship issues, to smoking, weight gain, pain, sleeplessness, physical illness, addictions, anxiety and depression.
So, where does stress come from? All stress starts with a thought; it is usually pining about the past or worrying about the future. The truth is you cannot change the past nor can you control the future. You live in the present moment. Every thought you have, every emotion you experience, and every behavior you choose all happen in the present moment. You cannot control the weather, the economy, your friends, your co-workers, your spouse, or any member of your family. What you can control is you.
All stress, regardless of the source, causes an immediate “fight or flight response in the body and the mind. A cascade of physical and mental changes take place. Your adrenaline levels go up, causing your mind to start the gerbil wheel of racing thoughts.
Your cortisol levels go up and cortisol is a stress hormone that causes your body to stop burning fat. Your blood pressure goes up, your blood sugar goes up, and your immune system is negatively affected. Your hormones become unbalanced. When your body is producing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, it cannot produce adequate amounts of “good” hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin (for the female) and testosterone and dopamine (for the male). Your metabolism is negatively impacted.
Your risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer all go up. You are more likely to experience frequent headaches; or be diagnosed with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Medical conditions are magnified by stress. Stressed people report having more pain, and those with chronic illnesses report having more flare-ups or symptoms when they are stressed. All of these physical and mental responses are hard-wired into the body and mind; they happen automatically.
In fact, even if you imagine something negative is happening in the future, your mind and body react as if it is really happening. Most of us are taught, at an early age, to worry about the worst possible thing that could happen, so that if it does happen we are ready for it. The fact is that does not work at all. The problem is we are actually causing ourselves stress rather than preparing ourselves to handle the worst case scenario. The fact is that most of the things you worry about never actually happen, but your body and mind already think they did.
Many people have been operating under stress for so long they don’t even realize it. The human body and mind are not designed to be stressed all day long. Yet with the current fast-paced culture and lifestyles of most people, that is exactly what is happening.
Chronic stress is now being recognized by the scientific and medical communities as one of the main causes of illness. Some medical professionals are now thinking that reducing stress may be even more important than stopping smoking to ensure their clients’ health and well-being.
In the “From Stressed to Best™” perspective, stress is an in-born response to something that is different from one of an individual’s hard-wired preferences. We can easily measure those preferences. Each preference has the potential for causing an automatic stress response. Once you understand what causes the stress, you can easily stop it and choose a different response – one that works for you.”