April, 2016 – Stress
By Dr. Bonnie Lyon

We are a nation full of stressed out people!  No matter where you go; the grocery store, the bank, the doctor’s office and at work, day in and day out, you’ll hear people complaining how tired, how broke, and how frustrated they are that they can’t get anything done! This verbal bemoaning has become more popular than the national anthem!

I’d like to say I’ve got an easy answer but I don’t. You can never avoid all stress; in fact, some stress can be good. However, too much stress affects you negatively and can cause you to break out into emotional outbursts aren’t good for you or for the people around you.

The word “stress” originated as an engineering term for how much pressure a building could take before it collapsed. Ironically today, people are collapsing from stress, not buildings. You can reinforce buildings to withstand storms, earthquakes, and hurricanes.  Can you do the same sort of “self-fortification” so you won’t collapse in your own storms, earthquake and hurricane size problems?

Here’s a place to start:

  • Stress is a code word for fear.
  • Stress is a message you give to yourself. Perception defines stress
    Your choice is in how you respond. You can: eliminate, modify, change your attitude.
  • Stress is different things to different people. Two individuals can face the same situation, one sees it as good stress, the other as dis-stress.
  • Distress triggers the fight, flight or freeze response which in turn releases several stimulants.
  • Your body responds to these stimulants in the same way whether it is a real situation or an imagined one from the past, present or future.
  • Prolonged stress can lead to misconceptions, negative attitudes and depressive thinking habits that perpetuate the cycle.
  • Stress can feel like pressure; self-imposed or otherwise. Stress can create anxiety.

Stresses are caused by your environment; things outside of you and stresses are caused by your emotional reactions. People who are very critical of themselves, who question their own self-worth, are the ones who suffer the most with emotional stress. It’s important to identify what areas of your life contribute to your stress. Once you’ve recognized exactly what your stresses are, eliminate some, minimize others, and change your reaction response to the stress you cannot change. What situations are causing stress in your life? Give Dr. Bonnie a call. I’ve got lots of ideas for coping with stress.