David J. Kearney

January 16, 2015

Stress Steals

Filed under: Personal — David J. Kearney @ 12:58 pm

Some things in our lives have limits…there a speed limit that keeps us safe and if we over do it we place lives at risk, an income that limits our spending ability (regardless of how much you make) that could impact a quality of life if the spend exceeds the income, and limits on how much stuff we can accumulate within our walls.
One of the things that people, me, you, out there tend to ignore is the amount of stress we endure without putting a limit on the amount of stress we will absorb and manage.

Stress Strips us of Serenity
All of us handle stress on a daily basis, whether it is the grueling commute where we are competing with the other spinning wheels on the road, jammed packed into a bus like sardines, or if we are so fortunate to live within walking distance to our job, there is still stress of people and traffic to engage. Walk/Don’t Walk, the weave through others frantically trying to get away from work…to anywhere better. Stress like this is the everyday stress…pressure that we have learned to tolerate and accept and even become numb to. Like the prick of a needle when getting a shot…we hear “just a little pinch” and it’s over. I get monthly allergy shots and although I should be able to deal with it better, I still cringe like I’m going to be hit with a bat. We’ll imagine getting 100 shots in a day. Just thinking about the sound of getting your teeth cleaned and hear the scraping, and for some us…the stress of public speaking or death…whichever you prefer over the other.

Stress Steals our Serenity
As stress levels increase, we are sometimes unaware that we are banging against our own stress ceiling…but our minds and actions compensate for the increase in stress levels. If short-term stress is of impact, we tend to manage the spike in stress just fine and before we know it, we’re back to normal. Things like work deadlines, the holiday season, exams, and other similar stressors can actually help us accomplish goals…it keeps our focus on the prize. A good night sleep, some downtime/relaxation, and doing enjoyable things can usually remedy stress symptoms.

Stress Swipes our Serenity
Stress that is constant can wreak havoc on our lives without us noticing it at first. Some of us become martyrs when dealing with issues and become stoic…that is until it all catches up. Some of us fall apart sooner than others, but stress catches up. Then all of a sudden we don’t recognize ourselves anymore. People cannot endure constant stress without an impact. Some people try to de-stress by self-medicating, drinking, using sleep aids, over eating, smoking, and/or turn into constantly cranky. Our health is eventually impacted over the long term by the self-medication and being constantly cranky…due to the loss of self-control that stress brings.

Some alarming statistics about stress… Stress…
Increases the risk of heart disease by 40%
Increases the risk of heart attack by 25%
Increases the risk of stroke by 50%
Each person typically knows what can heal the symptoms of their stress beyond the “bad stuff”, I previously mentioned, but this bad stuff is usually more convenient, more accessible, and easier to incorporate into your life. We need to adopt a more positive and less harmful approach. Each person is unique, so our stress solutions are unique. The goal is to become you again.

Simple Solutions for Stress:
1. Stop. Find time to stop or step away from the craziness. Even if you have to hard stop the stress.
2. Schedule. If you see stressors coming, prepare by scheduling time outs during the craziness. Don’t be hero. Take care of yourself along the way.
3. Self Control. No control equals no control. If you do not have control over your stressors, your stressors will control you. You will have no control over self-medicating, over eating, being mean if you are not in control. Stress is partially about not being in control.

Not all stress is bad, if it is in moderation.

Stress affects everyone a little differently and at different times. Keep this in the back of your head as you leave here today. Don’t let anyone guilt you in to feeling bad or making your stress sound trivial compared to theirs. De-stress and be the person you are…not the stress that is trying to control you.
Wouldn’t you agree?   …Stress Needs to be Significantly Slashed

The text of a Toastmaster speech I gave on January 15, 2015.



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