Life should be more fun, how many times have you said that to yourself?
You may have told yourself many times: “what is the point of it all, I feel like a rat on a tread wheel”, particularly as you wait in traffic jams, find that you have piles of unexpected bills or have had enough of your work. For life to be enjoyable we all need challenges that we feel we can cope with. Sadly we are all, at times, faced with insurmountable challenges that we feel we cannot cope with and it is then that we may experience stress.
The 21st century has become the century of stress.
If we understand how stress affects us as an individual, and if we are prepared to makes the necessary changes to our lifestyle and diet, then we sure can mitigate the affects that stress has on our bodies. It is important to remember that showing signs of stress does not mean you are a weak individual who cannot cope! It means you are a normal human being like everyone else, but a person who is being affected by stress. All people react differently to the situations they have to face because they are all unique individuals. Some may be very passive personalities whilst others may be very competitive and dominating. Their life experiences will vary enormously as will their overall conditioning. Their state of health will also vary – it is far more difficult coping with the pressures of every day life when one is feeling tired and simply “worn out”. Women today are under a higher load to achieve than even before in history, and it is taking its toll. A survey last year found that literally hundreds of thousands of women are “burned out” in Australia, and in 1999, a New Zealand survey found that 61% of NZ doctors are significantly stressed. I could just imagine the sheer numbers of women and men in America who suffer from stress and burnout that are diagnosed as “depressed”, and told to get on with their lives. I grew up in the 1960’s, and life today is sure different.
My 78yr old mother told me the other day that people today are far too rushed, and that a woman living in the 50’s and 60’s certainly did face stress, but nothing like today! My mother, like many women in the past, was a “stay at home mum” who looked after the household and then could relax at night and in the weekends. Women today have “two shifts” – the job and the household. Is it any wonder they become tired, irritable and have little time left for their close intimate relationship?
Living in the 21st century has become so very time pressured and competitive. Sadly marriage/partnership breakdowns are becoming extremely common and long-term job security seems, for many, to be something of the past. It is hardly surprising that at times people feel they just cannot cope. The recent financial crisis has really hit hard for so many – only to add more financial stress on top of what many are already experiencing! Life goes on but the bills have to be paid.
You probably know a few people around you yourself who are finding it all too much. Try reading this: Are you heading for burnout? So what are the common signs of stress? Hint – they are some of the most common reasons why people visit their doctors. It has been estimated that about 90% of all doctor visits are stress related. And of course, we have become a society where there is a “pill for every ill”. But don’t count on your average medical doctor diagnosing and adrenal issues, or physiological reasons for your fatigue apart from the “you have a low iron or vitamin B12” diagnosis. A high percentage of doctors are themselves burned-out or fatigued, making the diagnosis of your fatigue particularly challenging for your health care professional.
How convenient – a person comes into the medical clinic with insomnia, then let’s give them a sleeping pill. A person presents to their doctor with a headache, then let’s give them a headache pill, etc. But the most surprising thing for me recently was to speak with a medical doctor here in New Zealand who came to hear Dr. James Wilson speak about Adrenal Fatigue in November 2008. This doctor was quick to tell me that he could recognize about half his patients in Dr. Wilson’s presentation, but sadly said that “we generally prescribe an anti-depressant when a patient complains about fatigue”. Are you tired and feel “down” about things? Perhaps it may be a wise decision on your part (before jumping into taking a drug) to complete Dr. Wilson’s Adrenal Fatigue Questionnaire to really determine if you suffer from real depression or are just plain fatigued leading to anxiety and depression. The Questionnaire is available from your health care professional who specialises in Dr. Wilson’s Adrenal Fatigue Program. To be honest, I have personally seen many patients improve on the Program, that anti-depressant therapy was no longer required. Did you know that in 2007, over 1 million prescriptions were prescribed for anti-depressants in New Zealand – a country with just a little over 4 million people? Imagine how many anti depressants are being prescribed in USA to adrenally fatigued patients, just imagine! but then again, the truth is often stranger than fiction.
Most Common Signs Of Stress
|• Mood swings, depression
• Anxiety, irritability
• Skin problems
• Tiredness, exhaustion
• Muscle tension
• Poor concentration
• Changes in sleep patterns
• Changes in eating patterns
• Low self esteem
• Poor memory
Stress Makes a Person Seek an Outlet – Typically Alcohol, Drugs and Caffeine
The common answer to many of the above problems can be to drink a little too much alcohol, eat junk foods, smoke tobacco or cannabis, self medicate with drugs such as headache pills, sleeping pills, etc, etc.. Is this really the solution? I always ask my patients this question (depending on their addictions or compulsions) – “Why do you drink alcohol daily?” (or drink several cups of coffee, smoke cigarettes, or have other compulsive or addictive behaviors)
The common reply is “Because I like it, it makes me feel good”. The operative word here is “feel good”. If you are always looking for something to make you “feel good”, or looking for a boost, or something to give you a kick, hit, lift or whatever it may be, then you are almost certainly adrenally fatigued. It is very important to take positive action when faced with stress as, if experienced over a period of time, it can seriously impair your mental and physical health.
Stress Coping Strategies
The following proven coping strategies can really start to help you reduce he effects of any stress in your life.
- Be aware of your own warning signs – maybe this could be a sudden feeling of anxiety, extreme tiredness, feeling very tearful, catching every cough and cold – feeling run down.
- Review what is really causing stress for you? You could be surprised! Think about what action you could perhaps take to change things. How much of your stress is caused by you? Are your expectations of yourself and others realistic for example?
- At times of stress we often fall into the trap of not eating properly, smoking more or turning to alcohol as a supposedly helpful crutch. (That possible hangover, let alone “guilt trip” the next day could just add to your problems!) Instead:
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and keep sugar intake to a minimum. This can help to support your immune system in its fight against colds and flu – ailments you so often get when run down.
- Try eating for fatigue. Eat on time, and the right kind of foods. What a difference this can make to your energy levels and moods!
- Eating for your adrenal glands is an excellent information for you to make the right choices in the kitchen.
- Drink plenty of water, it will help you rehydrate your body, and only drink alcohol in moderation.
- Try and keep caffeine and alcohol consumption to the minimum.
- Try not to turn to nicotine or any other self prescribed drugs.
- Do not feel guilty about including a period of relaxation every day. We all need to turn off from time to time. Do something you enjoy and fits into your life. This could, for example, be reading, listening to music, doing yoga or meditating, enjoying a warm bath with perhaps some aromatherapy oils added to it. It does not have to take long – or be considered a luxury or time wasting. It is a vital part of life.
- Make sure exercise is part of life. Exercise which is suitable for you. If you have any doubts as to the correct sort for you ask your doctor.
- Time management. Do you often find yourself saying “yes” when in fact you mean “no”? Are you always late for things? Do you get frustrated knowing you could have done a better job if you had organised your time better? Learn how to be more assertive and manage your time properly. Many of us waste so much time – often making excuses for things we have not done! There are some excellent courses available as well as books on both these subjects.
- Consider attending a stress management training course. You do not have to be stressed to attend one of these. It is far better to know fully what to do prior to experiencing stress than during!
- We would be happy to supply information about Dr. Wilson’s Adrenal Fatigue Program, and can give you more information about this amazing, unique and highly effective program aimed at restoring your energy and vitality. We have many practitioners who are experiencing incredible results with their patients. So – what are you waiting for? Why be tired when life can be so much more fun – if you could only increase your energy levels.