I want to talk about stress today.  I watched an interesting documentary by National Geographic called “Stress:  Portrait of a Killer” .  It’s an instant watch on Netflix if you have it and are interested in checking it out.

The documentary centers around some scientists who have been studying the effects of stress on the human brain for decades, and their findings are scary.

Basically, humans have a much higher stress response than most of the animal kingdom.  We get stressed over much more than what it was originally intended for:  survival.  The body under constant stress is an unhealthy one.  It doesn’t take a scientist to tell us the obvious.  We know that stress can cause heart attacks and anxiety problems.

The other day (right before I watched the documentary), I was under a lot of stress.  I was very sick and was having intense menstrual issues.  When I get sick like this, I fear the worst, and this stresses the hell out of me.  My heart was working overtime, and I couldn’t seem to calm down.  From the outside, it looked like I was calm and tired, but my body was freaking out…I was freaking out.  I couldn’t sleep because my heart was pounding so hard.  I have had anxiety attacks in the past, so I knew this is what it was.  I was finally able to calm myself down enough through mental manipulation.  It took some doing though.  I was really close to calling my husband at work to come take me to the ER.

It was a wake up call for me.  After that had all happened, I found this documentary on Netflix and curled up to watch it.  It was really eye-opening just how horrible stress is for you.  Now, I’m talking about constant stress.  Stress in a time of survival is necessary and good, but it ends there.  If you are stressed out all the time, you are heightening your risk for heart problems, and killing brain cells.

There are other facets to the documentary, but I’m not interested in that today.  I have decided that I need to attack this beast head-on.  I have to actively change my view of any given situation.  When I sense that I am getting stressed, I need to stop in my tracks and actively let it go.  It’s all much easier said than done, but I know that I have to get a handle on it now before it becomes really detrimental to my health.

I don’t want to shorten my life because I was so worried about it all the time.


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