Posted on Oct 16th, 2006

Stress. It has been described as America’s #1 health problem. Hard to imagine something that you can’t see, can’t feel and can’t even measure on any kind of scale as being so dangerous. In this article and the series that follows we’re going to cover the causes of stress, how to identify if you are under stress, what it does to the human body and treatments. In spite of the fact that this is the invisible killer, we know a lot about stress and how to keep it under control.

To start with, you can hardly pick up a newspaper, listen to the radio, watch TV or for that matter go out in the street without hearing about stress. It seems that there should be such a big to do about something that has been around since the beginning of time. Is stress more prevalent today? Is it more dangerous? Or is it simply that modern science has finally figured out that stress can kill you? Well, according to modern science, the answer is a big YES.

Unfortunately, stress is a part of life and something that can’t be avoided. To list the number of things that cause stress would take a book the size of a dictionary, but for this article we’ll list the most common causes of stress.

Probably the most common and severe form of stress is our jobs. Let’s face it, in order to live in this world we need to have money to at least buy the absolute necessities, like food and shelter. The only way to get that money is to go out and earn it, and that means getting a job. In the perfect world we would get a job doing something that we absolutely loved to do. But this isn’t a perfect world and many times we have to settle for a job simply because it’s available. That alone causes stress, doing something we really don’t want to do. Add to that a boss who maybe isn’t the nicest person in the world, bad working conditions and the realization that if you lose this job or quit you will be out on the street and hungry. If that isn’t enough to cause the kind of stress that can kill you then nothing is.

Then there is the stress of taking care of your home. Maybe you have several kids. Maybe they’re reaching college age and you’re wondering how you’re going to afford to get them into college. In the meantime you still have to clean the house, do the laundry, do the food shopping, pay the bills and if you’re really unlucky, have to balance that with a job because your spouse doesn’t make enough money to support the whole family.

Then there is the stress of everyday life. Dealing with rude people at the supermarket, motor vehicles, neighbors who play music too loud at night and don’t let you sleep, and the list goes on and on.

So how exactly to we identify when we under stress, at least enough considerable stress to do us harm? We’ll be answering that question in our next article.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Stress

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