Sssstress? We Don’t Got no Stinkin Stress!

6 06 2011

With twitching eye and slightly trembling fingers, I search online for the signs and symptoms (and treatment) of stress.

What exactly is stress? Most of us use the term, but it sounds like a catchall. There is a definition: Stress is what happens when forces from the outside affect us. When we feel stress, we release neurochemicals and hormones, which allow us to act (fight or flight).  If we don’t act, those hormones and chemicals can cause harm to the body.

Is stress an infectious disease? We don’t write much about topics that aren’t related to our mission, but come on, don’t you think some people are stress versions of Typhoid Mary?  Don’t we all have a friend or co-worker who zaps our stress button, thereby infecting us with stress?

And stress does impact our health. The Mayo Clinic breaks it down for us, explaining that stress can alter our immune system response and suppress the digestive and reproductive systems, as well as make us fat and depressed. There’s actually a long list of how stress can negatively affect us, but I’m too stressed to read it.

Research suggests there’s no magic pill that can prevent us from experiencing stress, but doing whatever relaxes you is the uninspiring prescription for relief.

It’s lame, but it does help.  However, what about getting stressed in the first place? What can we worrywarts do about that? Got any ideas?

What do you do to relieve stress?