The word “stress” tends to carry a negative stigma. In fact, many of our clients’ have mentioned that their stress levels elevate just at the mention of the word.
Over the last couple of decades, our society has become pretty well educated on the long term effects of stress.
It’s been linked to negative health outcomes like:
Just to name a few.
Such education over the last decade has led to the aforementioned negative “stigma” around stress.
But what if that negative stigma is actually increasing your likelihood of poor health outcomes?
A study in 2012 challenged this point by asking the question “Does the perception that stress affects health matter?”
The study concluded:
“Individuals who perceived that stress affects their health and reported a large amount of stress had an increased risk of premature death.”
It goes on to estimate that, over the 8 years of the survey, 182,000, people died prematurely in the US due to their negative perception of stress.
So what can we do with this information?
The first thing we need to do is understand why the stress response exists in the body.
The stress response evolved as a way for humans to “rise to the occasion” for big moments.
In other words, stress exists to HELP us, NOT hurt us.
When we understand this, we can start to identify stress as a POSITIVE thing in our life.
When we identify stress as a positive thing, we can harness it’s power and use it to tackle the challenges in front of us. And when we tackle the challenges in front of us, we feel good about what we’ve accomplished. And when we feel good about what we’ve accomplished, the stress response is short lived.
The problem with stress exists when we perceive it as a negative. When we perceive stress as a negative, we do one of three things that encourage the stress response to become ongoing.
If you’re dealing with stress in any of these 3 ways, you need to find a way to view stress as a POSITIVE in your life, or it will have a negative affect on your health.
A few of the tools from previous posts (here and here) will help you to control your stress, tackle the challenges in front of you, and take the time to recognize your accomplishments.
About the Author
Evan Lewis is a nationwide leader in Neuro Therapy and founded the Baltimore area's only specialist Neuro Therapy facility.
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