March 3, 2015

Why Your Stress Never Works Out the Way You Plan

By mandee

We’re all stressed, and why wouldn’t we be? We live in 21st Century America. We’ve got stuff to do. And stuff has to be done and not just now, but yesterday. Because bosses, kids, school, groceries, husbands, wives…
Some of us like to wear our stress like a badge.
It makes sense, kind of. “Maybe when people see how stressed I am, they’ll see how busy I am. How important.”


Or, “Maybe they’ll see how stressed I am and they’ll give me a break. Quit giving me so much to do. Offer to help.” (How well does that one work out?)
Sometimes, we think our stress pushes us to perform better and that without it we would end up slacking off on everything. (How’s that for not trusting ourselves?)
Even worse, some of us think that we don’t deserve to live in a stress free environment. That if we aren’t miserable and aren’t terrified of failing somehow, we won’t “earn our keep”.
Have you ever seen someone create drama and stress when there was no reason for it? A dollar to a donut says that person is completely uncomfortable when things are calm and happy.

(Not kidding, someone I know once said “Well, if there isn’t any drama you should create some”. They aren’t exactly the healthiest person in my sphere.)
The fact is, our stress never works out for us the way we plan.
Chronic stress actually makes it harder for us to pay attention. It makes it more difficult to remember things. To think clearly. To solve problems. We are more likely to make poor decisions when we are stressed.
Stress also affects our health. It makes us grouchy and snappish to our friends, loved ones, and coworkers. (Shoot, it can make you rude to the Quick Trip people, and that’s downright wrong!)

Stress drains us of the energy we could use to exercise and make other healthy choices. It causes our bodies to be in a constant state of inflammation, contributing to heart disease, diabetes, and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s time to drop the lie that being stressed is some kind of badge of honor. It’s not. It hurts us, the people we care about, and ultimately the world in general.

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