When my younger brother passed away, the official cause of death was kidney and liver failure. Those who knew him well like I did know that his physical ailments were caused by an overindulgence in alcohol which was triggered by the personal and family stress he experienced. While the cause of stress was family stress, his unwillingness to listen to his body and get help from a doctor until it was too late is what did him in.
This week’s stress topic is physical stress. Stress as we’ve defined it is a response that comes when we are threatened with a demand for change. We’ve already talked about work stress and family stress, but physical stress can be unhealthy, unproductive, and sometimes deadly.
Keep in mind, the body’s computer is the brain. The systems of the body take their cue from the brain and this enables us to breath, pump blood, move around, and fight off disease, threats, and infection. Those systems in turn keep the brain functioning and this leaves us with a pretty effective human ecosystem.
But all it takes is one part of it to go awry and things begin to break down. If you consider your body to be a very expensive, high-performance car, they you know it takes maintenance and care to keep it going.
And unmanaged stress is the equivalent of ignoring that Check Engine light in your fancy car.
So how should we manage it? Here are some tips.
- Be Proactive with Your Health. Like you would your car, bring yourself in for regular checkups.
- Adopt Healthy Lifestyle Habits. Regular exercise. Healthy diet. Appropriate supplements.
- Eliminate Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits. Excess alcohol, recreational drugs, processed foods.
- Self-Examination. For both men and women, there are procedures for self-examination for certain types of cancers. Early detection is really important.
I loved my brother but he was a textbook case of how NOT to manage stress and how NOT to take care of himself. My eyes were opened and I want to be sure I pass these thoughts on to you.