My wife Lisa, and I, have recently moved into a beautiful house right on a canal. In fact, it was the seventh time we had moved ‘home’ in the space of four months.
We moved from Bermuda to the UK, to Chiang Mai, to Phuket, to Koh Samui, to Singapore, back to the UK and then moved permanently into the new place we have now. We weren’t just travelling. Wherever we laid our hat, that was our home.
Yes, that is a song…so here it is…
People had kept telling me that it must be really ‘stressful’ moving around so much in a short period of time. I hadn’t really thought about it, but I was aware that moving house was regarded as one of the most stressful events in our lives.
It is supposedly up there with the death of a loved one and divorce.
But I personally didn’t find it that stressful and it certainly is uncomparable to more sinister events that we may unfortuntately have to experience in our lifetime.
Most of these assumptions derive from the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) devised by Holmes and Rahe in 1967, used to identifying stressful events in our life.
Out of the 43 stressful life events, moving into a new home came in 32nd. Each event is awarded a ‘Life Change Unit’ with death of a spouse understandably being top with 100 points.
If you add all the points up from all the stressful life events from the table over a 12-month period, then theoretically you can gauge the likelihood of suffering from stress.
Social Readjustment Rating Scale
If you score less than 150, you have a 30% chance of suffering from stress.
A score of 150-299 gives you a 50% chance of suffering from stress.
Totalling a score over 300 means you have a 80% chance of a stress related disease.
Text Book Answer
I don’t buy it.
Although all of these stressful life events can be very traumatic to any person, the stress in our lives comes from our consciousness of health.
Some people simply do not have a good mental outlook on life. To them the world looks like a dark place and everything in it is bad. They very much play the victim.
The body mirrors itself in the mind and the mind mirrors itself in the body.
Stressed out people are commonly culprits of ‘stinking thinking’ and complain all the time about anything! This negativity manifests into the body and creates disease.
Stress is completely individual. What may stress out someone, may not be a stress to another person. It is all about opinion.
So, we need to learn how to manage stress in order for it to not lead to illness.
Quick Biology Lesson
To truly appreciate and understand stress we need to take a look at anatomy and physiology. No one can argue with facts.
The Autonomic Nervous System is made up of two primary divisions and divided into the Sympathethic branch and the Parasympathetic branch.
The Sympathetic nervous system is responsible for ‘fight or flight’ and it expends energy. When this part of the nervous system is excited it is catabolic and tissue destructive.
On the other hand, the Parasympathetic nervous system helps the body repair, eliminate and digest. It is anabolic and tissue building.
When we get stressed our hormonal system releases the stress hormone cortisol. This is to prepare the body for a crisis. Our hormones get out of balance, in order to conserve energy by holding on to the fat cells in the body, so it’s ready for ‘fight or flight’. The Sympathetic nervous system is firing on all cylinders!
The body cannot differentiate between the types of stress that can build up, therefore a relationship break up or overtraining in the gym are interpreted on the same biological level.
That’s why it is important to treat all types of stressors with equal respect as they can all have the same detrimental effect on our health.
Are you Performing or Crashing?
This leads us onto the question above.
Stressed out people develop a ‘stress identity’. They simply cannot relax. This is usually through growing up with stressed out parents! They need stress in their lives.
- Do you always need to hear noise when trying to relax, like having the TV on it the background?
- Can you ever switch off your cell phone and become disconnected from communication?
- Do you always want to screw up a good thing like a relationship when it’s going well?
These are all diversions of ‘self’ and are typically signs that the person does not like themselves.
I often hear people tell me that they don’t have time to exercise or go to the supermarket to buy organic food. But they are working all the hours in the day or spending time at the weekend cleaning their sports car.
Unfortunately, these people have their priorities completely screwed up and twisted!
We came into the world with nothing and we will leave this world with nothing, so what’s the point in spending all your time making money you cannot take with you, or keeping your sports car spotless?
Did you know that 50% of people spend their life savings in the last five days they’re alive?
Instead of torturing ourselves with work and burying our lives in things to do, we should be spending time on the only thing that we truly have control over and that’s our health. All the other materialistic belongings we accumulate during our lifetime will not fit into our grave!
If you are performing, then you love yourself for the outcome of what you’re doing. If you are crashing then you always have an excuse not to love yourself.
The $175 Billion Dollar A Year Industry
That’s how much Amercians spend on pharmacuetical drugs in a year. And it’s rising.
How come it is so high? Well, here are some of the symptoms of stress…
- Muscle tension
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Heart palpitations
These are the symptoms that 90% of drugs are prescribed for! Stress makes money. No one makes money out of healthy people and particularly the pharmacuetucal industry.
We have to be willing to analyse and identify the stressors in our life and be willing to move on if we realise something isn’t working. This could be a job, relationship or even diet.
But, I’m Not Stressed!
Unfortunately, I hear this all the time.
Take a look at some of the symptoms of stress and if you can relate to any of them, then you’re probably lying to yourself.
- Poor digestion
- Dry mouth
- Poor sleep quality (typically waking up betwen 1am-3am)
- Night sweats
- Premature ejaculation
- Low libido
- Waking up tired
A simple test you can do to see if your nervous system is stressed out is to take a piece of paper and hold it with thumb and forefinger. It the paper shakes uncontrollably, then it’s a sure sign of a stressed out body!
Happy people are happy people. Even Pharrell Williams wrote a song about it recently. People that are are genuinely happy live in alignment with their value system. The more stable a person can be, the more they can handle stress.
We need to manage our ego. The ego makes you think you are different. It creates a dividing wall between you and your existence. The need for materialistic things are manifestations of an unhealthy ego. If you are at one with yourself, then who do you have to impress?
This is why a Buddhist Monk can walk around Boots pharmacy in just a loin cloth. He doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, as he has a bigger agenda (and I’m not talking about finding a leave-in scalp conditioner).
If you are not sure when it comes to making decisions in life, then follow this simple advice from Holistic Health Coach, Paul Chek, who says just ask yourself “If I make the decision I’m about to make, and everyone else made the same decision, would the world be a better place?”.
I Have A Dream
Martin Luther King said it and so should you. When we have a dream, we have goals in life and the universe will take us more seriously when we have an agenda.
The first thing to do is establish your legacy. Decide what you want to accomplish in this world and what will make you truly happy. Once you have figured that out (and it’s not easy) then keep doing it and start to surround yourself with like-minded individuals that can help you fulfil your legacy.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Because you’ll see that purpose is the greatest antidote to stress.
When you have your dream or your legacy then use negative or positive support to help you on your way. Both can work.
Negative support is telling people of your goals so they can get on your back if you aren’t on the right path.
Positive support is from people who will help you if you are having trouble or difficulty in your task.
So focus on what you want from life, rather than what you don’t want. Our lives are a summation of our dominant thoughts. If you harmonise your thoughts into what you want, then you have your dream.
Developing a mantra can even help. Thoughts precede words and words precede action. Softly repeating a sentence to yourself on a regular basis will affirm your intentions to the universe. This is an ancient practice and is basic metaphysics.
Be the type of person that you want to have around you all the time, have a dream and stress will have nowhere to manifest.
You don’t need to refer to textbook studies like the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) to determine what events should stress you out and be turned into a crisis.
“When you have a big enough dream, you don’t need a crisis”
All our online coaching clients complete physiological load assessments as part of their personalised coaching programs to identify any potential stressors in their life. No SRRS in sight. Contact us today to learn more.
Tell us about any stress you have experienced in the comment box below!