Article #1: Fitness Guide
Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so! Your brain can make you ... or break you! It takes in, and interprets, each situation you face. It sparks your every thought, emotion, action ... conscious or unconscious. Hippocrates sensed this over two thousand years ago as the cause of "our joys, delights, laughter ... the fears and terrors that assail us, some by night and some by day."
Emotional stress cannot be measured. It has no meaning except in the way you react to your own life problems! ... Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so!
Don't get the wrong idea about stress! Like fear, stress is no new thing. It has been with man since man began.
The tensions, anxieties, fears ... the stress of our atomic age ... are no worse than those our forefathers faced ... only different! Man dies as surely by axe or arrow, by sword or spear, as he does by bullet or bomb!
Life is a perilous adventure. It always has been ... and a perilous adventure it seems sure to remain. Only the problems change with the changing generations ... the pressures never do.
How your mind and body react: Above your kidneys lie your adrenal glands that secrete the hormone adrenalin. Sudden anger, sudden fear, trigger these glands. Into your bloodstream shoots adrenalin.
Your blood pressure jumps. Your heart pounds. Blood from your stomach and intestines is shunted to your heart and muscles. Your breath comes fast. You tense to act ... but you can't!
Why? Because your problem differs vastly (though your body does not) from the one your ancestors faced a hundred thousand years ago. How to save their skin (yet eat) was their problem. To live they must have food. To get food (and keep it) often meant to kill or be killed ... to fight or to flee! At such moments, their anger, their fear, triggered adrenalin into their blood ... for sudden extra power to their blows ... or sudden extra speed to their legs, if they had to take to their heels to save their skin!
Not so with you, an executive faced with the kind of opposition you cannot batter down with your fists! Only a slight tremor of your hand as you hold a paper may betray the anger you smother! What irony! That swift dose of adrenalin nature intended to help you, hurts you ... if time after time after time, over the months and the years, you smother your anger or fear!
What combat studies show: In combat, every so often, a soldier, will succeed in an astounding feat, utterly impossible to a man not triggered by sudden terrible rage or fear. Afterward, this man is as much astonished by what he did as are his comrades. Now ... when his rage or fear subsides, he feels nauseated. He may have to vomit the food he had no chance to digest ... and he may discover, to his disgust, that he has lost control of his bladder or bowels ... and shakes as if he had a chill! The cause? An overdose of adrenalin! (This same reaction can be reproduced in a calm man by injecting adrenalin under his skin.)
... Long-sustained, smothered stress can bring on a heart seizure. You have only to remember how your heart pounds when you get in an argument to sense why this is so. Studies show, in fact, that emotional stress is five times as prevalent in heart attack victims as in men with normal hearts. Yet not all stress is harmful ... far from it!
A man who is a man thrives on a reasonable amount of stress ... As that philosophic old character David Harum put it years ago: "A reasonable amount of fleas is good for a dog ... keeps him from brooding over being a dog!"
... Some men can relax within a few minutes after a situation is over; others cannot. Their overmobilized bodies refuse to return to normal. As Dr. George B. Stevenson, internationally known psychiatrist, cautions: "The time to watch out is when tensions come frequently, shake us severely and persist...".
Transitory (and at first reversible) changes resulting from stress may lead to irreversible disorders.
Home > Lesson 95 - Exercise In Sickness And Recuperation
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