WOW Word-Of-the-Week #436: Stress

December 12, 2012 by  

Stressmental, emotional, or physical strain or tension.

Does your stress level go up with the holidays? Do you feel more stress at home or at work? Have you found ways to help you reduce tension?

This week Heidi Stevens’s article from the Chicago Tribune titled, “TAMING STRESS” caught my eye. She writes, “Facing down a man-eating lion is not the same as facing gown an Excel spreadsheet, but try explaining that to your body’s stress receptors, especially when they’re at maximum capacity trying to get ready for the holidays.

Stress has become a normal part of most of our lives with longer work hours, financial burdens and family strains. It doesn’t take much, especially at this time of year, to push us over the top.”

Thea Singer an MIT instructor and author of “Stress Less” says, “Once the lion is gone your stress response subsides. So much of what stresses us now, though is perceived stress. And when you constantly perceive yourself as stressed, your stress hormones never get turned off and you bathe yourself in a toxic substance.”

The consequences of stress is that it instantaneously increases your heart rate and blood pressure, makes your guts not function well and creates damage to your blood vessels and organs. Singer goes on to say, “There are 5 things you can do so you will be less reactive to a stressor when one hits. It’s really important to be proactive.”

  • Break a sweat: Exercise is a good stressor and it trains your brain to relax. If you look at our culture, we’re not exercising regularly. We’re training ourselves for stress, but we’re not training ourselves for relaxation.

I will share the other 4 in the next WOW’s. This week’s focus is on how much stress you have in your life. What % of your day do you feel stressed? Do you feel more stress at work or at home? When was the last time you exercised? When was the last time you relaxed?

Reader Responses

“What I try to do is not think about the word “stress.” If I put a name on whatever it is I need to do in order to meet a deadline at work or finish shopping or take care of something with my wife or the girls, then I will begin to think too much. That just messes up my head and guts. I don’t need that. I just try to do one thing at a time and then let everything else take care of themselves. In many instances, we let the things we have no control over take over our lives. We needlessly worry about these things until we are sick. None of us needs that. The best thing we can all do at this time of year is simply to take the word “stress” out of our vocabularies. That is half the battle. Great word for this time of year, Susan. Happy Holidays to you and yours.:” – “Warrior” Joe