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Longevity Coaching® = Optimal Medical and Disease Management + Financial Planning + Diet not Dieting + Supplements and Hormones + Exercise + Dis-Stress Reduction + Spirituality

Dis-Stress Reduction

Right out of the blocks I want to acknowledge Hans Selye (another McGill doc, eh!) and his pioneering work on stress. I have relabeled his concepts of distress and eustress as dis-stress and stress, since these terms seem to better fit our modern age. But the concepts ring as true today as they did when published July 4, 1936 in Nature.

Dis-stress is the emotional pond we all swim in every day. I never get over the response I get when I ask virtually anyone I see in the ER, “Are you under a lot of stress?” and they say, nearly 100% of the time, no matter what they do or who they are: “You are right on doc, my job is so stressful, my life is so stressful, my marriage is so stressful etc. etc. etc.” Yikes, so what to do?

On this topic of stress there have been thousands and thousands of books and articles written. I will barely scratch the surface with dis-stress (bad) and stress (good). First, let’s not forget the value of stress in our ascent to the top of the food chain, the creation of art whether it be painting, music, poetry etc., and the value of stress in getting the job done. Stress properly channeled, with a socially acceptable outlet gets the job done, and quite well thank you. But whenever too much is coming at us at once, or our ability to cope with all this stuff is not up to the task, then we become dis-stressed.

Hans, (remember him) noticed that his stressed rats developed an acute destructive reaction in multiple body organs to stress that they could heal if the stress went away. However, if stressors continued, even at significantly smaller doses, they again caused the destruction without healing this time. Hmmmm, sounds like the life my patients describe to me.

No easy answers here, or maybe very easy answers, but harder to carry them out. Reduce the stress, or reduce the emotional impact on your mind of the stress.

Wait a minute, how do I reduce the stress? Again, an easy answer, we all have choices that we make, and even if we try to convince others that we don’t have a choice, objectively, we do. But sometimes we don’t want to hear what we know is true. Denial is not a river in Egypt.

OK, can’t, won’t, aren’t ready to remove the stressors, how about changing our reaction to it? Aha, again, easy answers, meditation, yoga, nature, exercise, drugs, alcohol, sex, workaholic…reach inside or reach outside. If we can’t change the reality, change our perception. And in doing so we can alter our reaction to stressors.

Maybe you need some help with this one?



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