Here’s an interesting article about a link between chronic stress and psychological problems such as anxiety disorder.

How would you know if you’re experiencing chronic stress? You probably read that question and thought it was a dumb question because doesn’t everyone know if they’re experiencing stress and wouldn’t anyone know if the stress they’re experiencing is chronic? Yes, a person knows what their subjective experience of their life is and was but people are also easily influenced and the placebo effect is around fifty percent. I often hear people admonish other people to “slow down,” “take a break,” “get rid of some of the stress in their life,” “learn to relax,” and so on or, even more exciting, are the people who suggest to other people that they’re going to have a heart attack or a stroke or some other unpleasant life event if they don’t get rid of some of the stress in their life.

That means that someone could actually be feeling good as they’re working hard toward a goal or juggling several life events at once or working long hours and a well intentioned observer (read family member or close friend) will offer an admonishment like the examples in the previous paragraph.

Not all people are hard wired the same way. Some people like to sleep in on weekends and some people think sleeping in is a complete waste of time. Other lifestyle actions or interactions are also experienced differently. The well intended observer might very well develop anxiety disorder if they were subjected to the ongoing stress they perceive their friend or relative is experiencing and they know that, which is why they so kindly offer advice to someone they care about.

The problem is that the receiver of the advice might not think of his experiences as stressful, instead seeing them as challenging or evidence that they’re living life to the fullest extent possible or feeling good that they’re able to manage more than one thing at once and it’s actually an esteem builder and they know that.

However, here’s where the placebo effect comes in, if someone is repeatedly admonished about de-stressing their life, the admonishment can cause anxiety because most people do have some amount of fear or concern about living a lifestyle that doesn’t cause a heart attack, stroke, or other catastrophic event and no one wants to develop anxiety disorder or have a mental “break down.” So the good Samaritan is inadvertently causing the person to experience stress by injecting fear where there was none before and the heretofore race horse begins to believe that the way they live is bad, even dangerous and that they need to learn to be a plodding work horse instead. Then at least three times a day the race horse tells himself that he needs to slow down, that there’s something wrong with how he/she is living and that causes more stress.

It won’t cause a heart attack or stroke but it can create anxiety and stress because, if other people are saying something is so, maybe it actually is. The person’s perception of how they’re living changes from positive to negative even though they most often will continue to do things the way they’ve always done them but without the pleasure they could be having by associating who they are and how they live with health, well-being, being goal oriented, an achiever, an innovator, someone with a great deal of energy who is enjoying life to its fullest.

I suggest that the article attached to the link below is a very interesting article but each of us has to decide if we’re living with chronic stress. Your friend might experience your life as a life of chronic stress and you might wake up every morning ready to race into a new day and all that it entails. Don’t let anyone else tell you who you are and don’t let anyone decide for you whether or not you’re living a healthy lifestyle because that will cause you chronic stress.


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