During my time in the Army, I witnessed first hand young soldiers constantly on edge with a fight or flight attitude. This happens in military operations from Vietnam to modern-day war zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq, where it is difficult to make a distinction between those who are fighting against you and those who are civilians. In many cases, civilians and enemy are deliberately amalgamated to cause confusion and uncertainty.
Since discharging from the Army, I have noticed that countless people live their life in a state of stress and, as a result, rarely experience relaxation. It is as if we are always preparing to stand and fight or run like hell even when there is no imminent threat. We worry that something bad may happen, and this keeps us in a state of unease.
The human body is remarkable when its systems are in harmony and working together. If one system of the body does not perform or do its job, it can affect the rest of the body. Each night, when you go to sleep, your body repairs itself and endeavors to bring its systems back into harmony.
If your sleep is affected due to stress, worry, or a continued fight-or-flight state of hyperarousal, you are placing more stress and pressure on a body that’s already battling with daytime tension. Your body’s innate self-repair routine won’t work efficiently if you remain stressed. Therefore, instead of waking fresh and renewed, stressed people become rundown and sick with the cycle perpetuating. This is fine and dandy when you are young and resilient; however, each year as we grow older, the requirement for a more undisturbed, settled sleep is essential.
Recent research by the American Medical Association suggests that stress is recognized as the primary cause for more than 60% of all illnesses and diseases.
Regardless of age or gender, the thing that triggers stress is feeling like you have minimal control but high levels of responsibility. This creates the perception of being trapped, of feeling like there is no way out of a particular situation. Link this with a constant feeling of things getting worse rather than better and a perceived diminishing social support network, and things quickly compound.
“Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response to what happens, and response is something we can choose.” – Maureen Killoran
The real problem lies in the fact that as human beings, we have fundamentally become addicted to stress.
Examples of things that cause negative stress are unhappiness in your occupation, financial difficulties when there seems to be no way out and everything keeps piling up, navigating rush hour traffic, trying to make everyone else happy and having no time in your schedule to recharge, moving residences, the death or illness of someone you care about – basically, anything you would seek to avoid because it makes you unhappy and stressed.
I have attached a short video below that talks about the people of the small Greek island called Ikaria. Dan Buettner, the author of Blue Zones, talks to 60 minutes about shared traits of the world’s longest lived people. These people live 8-10 years longer than average, have no dementia and make living to 100 a reality by slowing the aging process & improving vitality.
So many of us spend 8-10 hours a day in jobs we detest, primarily motivated by money that will allow us to buy things we don’t really need. To go to places we don’t really like, to impress people we don’t enjoy being around. We constantly compare ourselves to other people. Our life revolves around what society dictates is best for us instead of following our passions. Maybe, just maybe, we have got this all wrong and we could be doing it better and living longer.
I would love to know your thoughts and if you sometimes think you just want to stop this merry-go-round and get off. ………http://beyoubegreat.com.au/get-in-touch/
Have a great week ahead.