Posted on Mar 29th, 2006

The doctor’s waiting rooms are full of anxiety. The hospitals contain lots of nervousness, tension and worry. Millions of people are staying home from work every day because of affliction, apprehensiveness, nervous tension and restlessness. Another word for this common though unfortunate, traumatic disease is stress. Stress management seems to be a more actual issue today than ever.

Although stress-related diseases is categorized as mental, it manifests itself physiologically as

  • increased heart rate
  • increased blood pressure
  • inbalance of certain chemicals in the brain (like serotonine, adrenaline, nor-adrenaline and endorphines)
  • anxiety
  • sweating
  • trembling
  • headache
  • breathing problems
  • dizziness

and many other stressful and nervous symptoms. If we passively let this nervousness and tension develop, nervous breakdown and even death can be the results.

Fortunately, we have methods for managing these stressful diseases. A close friend of mine has asked me to tell about his anxiety, nervousness and stressful life so that other people with the same stressful experiences can see that there is hope. My friend - let’s call him Mark - was outside jogging one Saturday morning. He had been very stressed at work the last months with loads of problems to handle. But this Saturday morning was not stressful at all, and he looked forward to go to the wedding reception of one of his best friends that evening.

Mark says:

"The sun was shining this beautiful Saturday morning. Full of great expectations for the evening I felt calm and without stressful feelings, when I started my training hour in the beautiful and scenic little valley I always use. I was jogging moderately and enjoyed the sun playing with the trees, the sound of leaves in the slight breeze and the sound of birds singing - could life be better? Suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, I felt like I was shot. My heart started to beat at a pace that seemed to qualify for emergency heart surgery, the environment started spinning around and around. Breathing became difficult and with each breath it seemed that less oxygen was entering into my lungs. I felt sure I was going to die and I had almost accepted it. I had no idea what was actually happening to me. I had never experienced such a stressful situation before."

The story has a good ending but from that day Mark - fortunately without knowing it then - started a period of almost 10 years of stressful, fearful and alarming panic attacks before he got help.

Mark went from doctor to doctor for his traumatic and stressful condition. They said that his stressful attacks were psychological and came from tension in his mind. He couldn’t believe what the doctors said, because the manifestations took place in his body only. He started taking 5mg Valium three times a day, which managed his anxiety for a couple of hours only and soon he had to increase the dosage. He became addicted and even more stressed.

At one of his doctor visits several years later, he met a neurologist who had been through the same stressful nervousness and alarming panic attacks as Mark. He told him that he was so stressed with panic attacks that he considered quitting his job but instead he signed up for a course in Meditation. This became his way to manage his stressful disease. Mark thought to himself, "If he can manage his stressful level of tension with this method, I can manage mine!”.

Though sceptical in the beginning, after meditating a few months, his fearfulness and stressful panic attacks were gone, and he has not experienced a panic attack brought on by a stressful situation in five years. So, there’s hope even for severely stressed people.

Terje Brooks Ellingsen is a writer and internet publisher. He runs the website 1st-Self_Improvement.net. Terje is a Sociologist who enjoys contributing to the personal growth and happiness of others. He tries to accomplish this by writing about self help issues from his own experience and knowledge. For example, stress management and other self improvement issues as well as stress in marriage and other relationship issues.

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