Thursday, April 22, 2010

DAY 57 - Surgically Removing Stress

I felt like I was going blind. 

Really! My eyes were foggy and I was having trouble focusing.
Blinking, rubbing, eye drops or relaxing eyes did not help. Just like that, I was surely going blind. BUT, upon an emergency eye exam - my eyes were found to be healthy and not much change to the measurements, and no change required to current corrective lenses. However, as the Optometrist so diplomatically and politely put it
- he cannot see behind the eyes.

Diagnosis: Stress.

So how do I remove the Stress? Is there a surgical procedure that can get rid of this, so I can get on with my life? 
Maybe a clinic "Lipo & Stress Suction Package"?

Exactly what is STRESS, and how much is too much?

"a physical or psychological stimulus that can produce mental tension or physiological reactions that may lead to illness."
Now, the most commonly accepted definition of stress (mainly attributed to Richard S Lazarus) is that stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.
Interpretation: when you want to scream Argghhh!! 

Stress is a complicated thing. We all have stress it seems and each person manages differently.  Stress is part of life - one statement I found was - without stress there is no life . It is the amount of stress and how we handle this stress, and if the stress becomes excessive. Excessive or prolonged stress can be harmful. There are reams of studies, analysis, books on how to cope with, and courses in how to minimize stress. There are holistic methodologies and gimmicks to relieve stress, and an entire psychology researchers, and  Management Consultants teaching Stress Management. There is even The American Stress Institute. The scientific effects and physiology of how stress affects the body, chronic and long term have been studied and clearly show the massive  effects of excessive stress.
The term Stress was coined apparently in the 1930s according to
Wikipedia - Stress  entry, and researchers in the 1950s explained that Stress was not necessarily BAD.
BUT - currently we know that rarely are negative effects observed with positive stress. In particular, the harmful biochemical and long-term effects of stress have rarely been observed in positive situations.

My Journey with Stress
I believe that we all have at least at times experienced excessive stress, and some of us chronic and prolonged periods of stress. 
Myself and Jan have had possibly more than the regular share of the S word in our lives. Some has been the regular life stuff of relationship issues, job changes, child raising, aging,  and every day life. 

We have had added stress with serious illness touching our families, divorce, abuse and other traumas. Speaking for both of us - that I usually do - I can admit to relationship & stress encountered on the jobs as seeming to be the most difficult to adapt and reduce to a level of calm.

As well chemical imbalances have plagued us  - is that the stress or result of stress - 'don't count your eggs while they are still up the chicken's ass'? 

Maybe had we been more in tune with our bodies functions and needs we could have reduced the effects on the chemical effect and result within our bodies? Or did we just get through some tough times as best we could at the time, and now are left to deal with the result?

Our lives are relatively good - we both have a roof over our heads, our children and spouses are healthy, we have a decent lifestyle and enjoy life most days. 

Our bodies have taken a beating however over the years. 
We have pushed ourselves to "Exceed Expectations" 
- Super Woman, Super Mom, Super Wife and Super Employee. 
Now where do we RECHARGE? It appears we have run out of energy and now running on empty.


Jan does enlist the help from Biodentical Medicine at a Wellness Clinic in Sherwood Park. She has found some gains with this - but would certainly prefer more.

Darleen did seek out help at The Natural Way - Health Clinic in Waterloo. 
The Natural Way Health Clinic is an integrative Naturopathic Clinic. 
Integrative medicine is defined as the combination of mainstream medical therapies, and the alternative therapies for which there is high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness.

This is an amazing clinic. I started a program, but due to the largest STRESS in my life put it on hold - job demands and also due to job uncertainty concern for saving money. hmmm ... and now I am considering that this may not have been a wise decision -  I THINK I AM GOING BLIND.

The Natural Way  Blog regarding Stress  by Angela MacNeil ND, MSc
The Impacts of Stress on the Body

Is an extensive post and discussion explaining the impacts stress has on the body. She explains how stress can first cause an increase in Cortisol, with a series of symptoms, and if continues into prolonged phase result in the opposite or 'burn-out', decreased Cortisol. People in this stage may still appear to be normal - but be actually propping themselves up in order to get through the day.

Angela does provide a bright spot of hope with lifestyle change recommendations:
  1. Stress reduction
  2. Enjoyment: Above all else, have fun.
  3. Relaxation techniques
  4. Exercise: 30-40 minutes of activity 3-4X/week
  5. Healthy diet
  6. Massage
  7. Herbs called “adaptogens"
I think I need to pay a visit to  The Natural Way, and Angela again - finding the money and time to maybe not surgically remove, but regain BALANCE. This may be the ticket to life!!

This brings me to recalling the book 
- Jeffrey Gitomer's LITTLE GOLD BOOK of YES! Attitude
I found this book very uplifting and full of good advice regarding achieving a positive attitude. The best point of the entire book (for me) is page 147
Drain your brain at the end of each day
To-do list
To-call list
To-get over list
To-resolve list
To-pay list
... the secret is to unload everything.

...darleen & jan

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