Hello world! I am a self-confessed recovering ‘Stressaholic’. Unwittingly I had actually been seeking stress, feeding off adrenaline and cortisol and seriously detrimentally affecting my health. Through my own journey I am beginning to understand there is an epidemic out there. Our current fast paced lifestyle is breeding mental health illnesses including depression and anxiety, as well as a new special brand of stress (and let’s face it, all three are very closely related).
Many people world-wide are struggling to balance careers, family commitments, exercise, sporting commitments, school expectations, eating well (and the list goes on) with the need for time spent relaxing and feeding one’s sole. Typically, people are omitting the last two, feeling they simply do not have time and are placing their own needs, mental health and general well-being lowest on the list of priorities.
When you think about it, how many people do you know that either admit to being stressed on a regular basis or display traits of stress? I am willing to bet there are a fair few. People are blaming stress for all kinds of health issues and ailments and with solid foundation. You only need to open a glossy magazine to find an article on what stress does to your body and it is scary. Increased risk of high blood pressure, headaches, heart disease, obesity, diabetes to name a few.
The media is filled with stress combating tips such as ‘mindfulness’, meditation, yoga, exercise and healthy eating. But, are we listening?? and are we talking about it?? Or do we read it, have good intentions for 30 minutes then hide it away and carry on, simply falling back into our old patterns? Well, I can honestly say that was me, now and again I would have a burst of enthusiasm to do things that reduced my stress, but in the end it felt like just another thing on my list. I felt overwhelmed by the options and the expectation to do something about it and make it better.
My turning point (after things had got really pretty bad) has been the realisation that I am not alone. I realised this because I started TALKING about it. I found people who felt the way I felt and that made me realise I wasn’t failing or worse than anyone else, I am just human! This realisation in turn made me see that I actually could do something about it, I just had to shift my way of thinking and then sift through all the information out there and find what was right for me.
The absolute biggest revelation has been, not that I should avoid things that cause me stress. In fact quite the contrary. I should approach them head on but with a completely new attitude because the biggest issue ‘stressaholics’ have, is how we REACT to stressful situations. There will always be stress in our life no matter who we are, where we are or how ‘successful’ we are. The key is how we approach the stress and the amount we are willing to take on (or not take on).
So, let’s talk about it…… Let’s help each other. Please share and comment on this post.