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Are Daily Hassles Making You Sick?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Eric "Herbie" Watson, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    When you think of big stress, you probably think of major life-disrupting events: a job loss, a gravely ill parent or friend, a case of identity theft, a significant financial loss. But sometimes, big stressors can come in little packages: the juice glass that broke at breakfast, the weeds gathering in the front flowerbed, the phone call you need to make to your mother.

    Sure, little day-to-day hassles such as these are not monumental and probably don't feel extremely stressful. Individually, they certainly don't weigh heavily in the grand scheme of overall emotional well-being.

    But could those little daily stresses hamper your health or even make you vulnerable to serious illness and disease? Research says maybe so.

    An Ugly Cycle

    Recent studies suggest that, taken together, minor hassles and annoyances from everyday life may be the biggest stressor of all.

    These mini stressors mount as they become part of a daily routine, and because days tend to mirror days, whatever little hassle tugged at you one day is likely to repeat on another day. Eventually, all those overdue phone calls and all those annoying little accidents and all those unfinished household tasks can add up to major, chronic stress.

    Are minor stresses getting the best of you? Take this quick quiz for a better idea.

    Daily Life Equilibrium Calculator

    As you reflect on a typical day, look over the following list, print it out, and then rate on a scale of 0 to 3 how much aggravation or satisfaction the below items contributed to your stress level. Keep in mind that some items may be sources of both aggravation and satisfaction. You must write down an answer for each item on both the "aggravation" and "satisfaction" sides.

    0 = None or not applicable
    1 = A little bit
    2 = Quite a bit
    3 = A great deal

    Aggravation Please assess: Satisfaction
    People in Your Life
    Your Work
    Job security
    Available time off
    Benefits offered
    Your Environment
    Current events
    Community or neighborhood issues
    Your Daily Schedule
    Time with family or friends
    Time alone
    Housework, yard work
    Commute time (errands, appointments, work)
    Cooking, eating
    Entertainment and recreation
    Personal organization
    Your Finances
    Bills, financial obligations, medical costs
    Savings, investments, emergency funds, retirement plan
    Your Personal Health
    Physical appearance
    Physical and mental abilities
    Drinking or smoking
    Sex and intimacy
    score = Add up the total of each column. Satisfaction
    score =

    Your Daily Life Equilibrium Score =
    (Subtract your Aggravation score from your Satisfaction score.)

    What Your Results May Mean

    If your score is less than or equal to -25
    Considering only the items on this list, your responses indicate that your daily life is fairly stressful and includes quite a few situations that trouble you or cause you aggravation. Because daily patterns tend to repeat over time, this could mean the negative aspects of your daily life contribute to an unhealthy level of stress. Learning to effectively minimize stressful responses and feelings and increase the amount of satisfaction you get from day-to-day activities and responsibilities could benefit you, especially if you exhibit any physical or emotional symptoms of stress.

    If your score is between -24 and +24
    Considering only the items on this list, your responses indicate you have probably struck a good balance between daily activities that give you satisfaction and daily activities that cause you aggravation. A routine that provides more aggravation than pleasure could place your health at risk, so read on to find out how to help maintain the healthy balance you have struck and perhaps even push the balance further in your favor by counteracting the damaging effects of stress.

    If your score is equal to or greater than +25
    Considering only the items on this list, your responses indicate that your day-to-day activities probably bring you quite a bit more satisfaction than they do aggravation. Because daily patterns tend to repeat over time, having the positive aspects of daily life outweigh everyday concerns is a good sign for long-term physical and emotional well-being. Read on to find out how maintaining this level of satisfaction with your life and consistently managing stressors will help counteract the damaging effects of stress.

    Remember, however, that this test is not meant to replace a clinical assessment but rather to help you assess your feelings about some of the events, people, and places that make up your day. Also, other items not included in this list could negatively or positively influence your daily stress levels. Only a doctor or mental health professional can make an accurate assessment of how stress may affect your physical and emotional well-being.

    Watch for These Signs of Potential Chronic Stress
    •Anxiety, worry, guilt
    •Irritability, anger, frustration
    •Disorganization, confusion, distraction
    •Headaches; muscle, neck, back tension or pain
    •Heartburn, stomach problems, nausea
    •Weight gain, loss
    •Skin problems
    •Loss of libido

    Daily Hassles and Your Health

    Unfortunately, it's very easy to let the little aggravations and pleasures of the day get out of balance. When these minor aggravations take the lead, your body eventually may experience the same damaging physical effects that major chronic stressors can cause.

    Stress activates the nervous system, stimulating the secretion of certain hormones and increasing blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, metabolism, and blood flow to the muscles. Much of the time, this process is helpful. The boost in activity helps the body meet greater demands during crises -- for example, to run from a direct threat or to think and act quickly and efficiently when tackling a demanding task.

    But all of this extra physiological activity may take a toll. Normally, the body can recover when the stressful situation subsides. But when the stress response is turned on too often, or for too long without time to recover, the body pays a price.

    Depending on the amount of stress, this price could be high. Several studies have indicated a link between elevated stress levels and deficiencies in immune system function. In fact, long-term, unrelieved stress may depress immune system function so much that the body becomes more vulnerable to colds, flu, and other infections. Research has also linked excessive stress to chronic illnesses and diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

    Manage Your Stress

    Now that you've identified some of your possible day-to-day stressors, it's time to build some strategies for maintaining your equilibrium and protecting your body from stress.

    You probably already know regular exercise is one of the best stress-busting tools around. Research shows that exercise routines with Eastern influences are particularly helpful, such as those that incorporate yoga, chi-gong (qiqong), and tai chi.

    Researchers have also found that meditation, if practiced regularly, not only can lead to a healthier perspective on daily circumstances but also may help lower blood pressure. It has even been linked to a longer lifespan. Meditation works by inducing a tranquil state of calm through mental focus and breathing techniques.

    Similar to meditation, autogenics training and progressive muscle relaxation induce calm by focusing attention and increasing body awareness. Autogenics training accomplishes this through visual imagery, such as concentrating on a peaceful place, and through awareness of body sensations, such as focusing on the weight or temperature of the limbs or on calm, natural breathing.

    Progressive muscle relaxation involves slowly and systematically tensing and releasing various muscle groups, focusing on the feelings and sensations that accompany tension and relaxation. With practice, you can achieve deep relaxation quickly, even in stressful situations.

    It's Yours for Life

    Everyone should have at least one surefire stress-reduction strategy, so find one that works for you, and practice it regularly. Most techniques can be learned through coaching, lessons, or individual practice. Several clinics and hospitals around the country offer healthcare programs that teach relaxation techniques. Once you pick a method and master it, you'll be able to rely on it for the rest of your life to help balance out occasional hassle-heavy days.

    Try These 6 Simple Tension-Relievers
    •Consume less alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine.
    •Practice deeply inhaling and slowly exhaling.
    •Set aside 15 minutes for active relaxation such as autogenics training, meditation, or brisk walking.
    •Keep in touch with supportive family members and friends.
    •Take short breaks frequently.
    •Visualize relaxing scenes.

    Remember, if self-help methods aren't bringing you balance, consult your healthcare provider. He or she may suggest a more structured psychological treatment approach, such as cognitive therapy, to help you restructure negative thought processes, improve your emotional well-being, and protect your health.

    Keep in mind that stress is not always the cause of health problems. If you have a specific medical or psychological disorder or concern, see a healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.

    Real Age-July 2009
    Rinkey and plum like this.
  2. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Good Stuff. I am going to pass along to the Kansas City TMS Support Group
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  3. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks Stella, I Thought it would be a good post
    We often think its the big stuff and it is that too
    but when you add up all the small stuff-Wow
  4. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    One of the things I would add to the aggravation list is "politics". People are so enraged on one side or the other they no doubt cause themselves physical pain, anxiety or depression.

    When this was created in 2007 it was not as bad as it is today. I am going to add it.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Herbie, those are great lists to consider what makes us stressed-out every day.

    I stopped watching television news, local and national and international and it made a
    big difference in not thinking about bad news everywhere. Politics is a game like sports to
    may people, but not as relaxing. I try not to be cynical about politicians but wonder why
    we need them at all? Just get a competent person to run every department and forget about
    having politically-connected officials over them. But I shouldn't even think about all this do-do.

    I got a phone call yesterday from an electric energy provider wanting me to sign up with them.
    I got so tired of their questions I began yelling at the caller, then hung up. I learned later the call
    was a recording, so I was yelling at someone who wasn't even there. From now on, if the caller
    doesn't immediately start talking and tell me who they are, I'll just hang up.

    And just after that call, someone called saying he was my nephew and was in jail for driving
    in a car with drugs, and would I give him $1,000 to pay for his bail. I smelled a con artist at work
    and hung up. Then I phoned my real nephew and he said he wasn't in jail and hadn't called me.

    It was other example of stress I had to deal with yesterday. I got over it all by laughing about it,
    then taking my dog for a walk. And telling myself I'd be more careful listening to phone calls.

    While walking my dog, I sometimes stop and visit neighbors a block away but they're always
    sharing their stresses about what they watch on television news. Yesterday they were telling me
    they're worried that the U.S. Postal Service is going to close more post offices and put small
    substations in stores. I doubt it will happen, but I sure am not going to worry about it.

    Tune out and smell the roses. My New Year's resolution in August.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  6. Stock Trader

    Stock Trader Peer Supporter

    How funny, the above is is similar to my daily check list. A little daily stress I have right now is that I am expecting the current hot Dodgers to win every gave, lately their games have had me hooked. So, little things like these could contribute to your current stress without ever knowing. Good article.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  7. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wow Walt that's a story of triumph over stress- thanks
    Im glad you found out the truth about your nephew.
    I wonder what's next with these folks trying too steal money.

    That was funny about the electric company- shhhh its happened to me too.
    I have members of my family that love to talk about there hurts and pains
    as if they were there best friends or something.

    They all know I've recovered from pain that had me almost paralyzed
    and yet now its like they have amnesia, as if I've never even heard of healing or
    something like that.

    Ill still mess up and try to tell them how to heal and all I ever hear is
    "now im not crazy or nothings wrong with my head, my pain is real" .
    Wow, Id assume something was wrong with my head and my pain wasn't real.

    There's a lot of aggravating stuff going on today, I really like your approach
    Laughing it off. That's what I do, I laugh it off too.

    Im so glad we got 100% true /real healing that we can practice and live a better life.
    I searched a long time for the truth and I love it, I just wonder how's it so hard to see.
    I mean it happens right in front of folks and they still deny it- sad but true.
    We have to stand beside each other here at Tmswiki and know who our true friends are.

    I love now more than ever.
    I can never hold any more grudges.
    I understand why my extended family's conditioned.
    I just love them like they are- Sometimes I wonder though-
    Do they have a love hate relationship with that agony and defeat- hum
  8. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I most defiantly agree, politics have been the way of stress and tension for some time now.
    As the years go by I do notice that their corruption and losses hit us flat in the pocket.
    I have to say - as much as its crushed me to see and hear of the wayward souls in politics
    if we wake up and put a smile on - on purpose, Its a form of winning over them.

    This way at least im not letting them control my emotions.
    Still though you have a very important point in adding it to
    the list since your in a support group. I have to remember where I was
    when I began my journey and how folks like you led me in the right direction.

    Showing me the ins and outs, Why im hurting and why I need stop boiling over every thought pondered.
    Politics is huge in the boiling department for so many of us and often we hold grudges without even thinking twice about it.
    I know your an excellent person for what your doing and adding this to the list will most defiantly help release a lot of tension.
    That doesn't mean were in agreement with their antics, it just means were deciding not to let them control us from the inside any longer.
    Stella likes this.
  9. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your so right Stock Trader, I Remember getting so upset
    every time the Braves lost the play-offs which was very often
    as I was growing up- yea even sports can be a stressful situation.

    Thanks for the contribution
    Awesome.... and another thing Stock Trader
    You said it looked like your list. I've seen your list
    and partner your on the money.
  10. Sheree

    Sheree Well known member

    Thanks Herbie for this. All the little stresses certainly add up and it is something that I have thought of a lot in recent years. I can't help thinking that life now (for everybody) is so much more stressful. When I look back to when I was younger, life seems to have been SO less complicated. You could say that was just down to being youthful and carefree, but I am not so sure.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  11. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think it was down to being youthful and care free Sheree
    On the other side of the coin we have the beaker that Dr. Sarno
    talks about . Ya know where everything just builds up and the beaker overflows.

    Walt said times seemed harder now and he's been around a while.

    Although for me personally I think we have always had issues and dilemma's
    in our lives. I think as we grew older life got more about getting things in order
    and being more responsible ya know. With more responsibility comes more stress
    if we pursue it that was as in tension and strain.

    I know now what the word meant when it says
    "If you do not become as one of these little ones
    you will not see the kingdom....."Emphasis mine.

    As we know the kingdom represents peace and harmony and
    as a child I really don't remember having all this stress
    as mentioned above.

    The children really know how to live a care free life. Through laughing
    and acceptance, being more full of joy on purpose - we can get back to that life.

    Sarno has set us on a course of self discovery- I really like being able to not take myself so
    serious all the time and also learning how to smile and be happy again. I love the way Steve ozanich
    puts it in his book about were all trying to get back to relationship.
    Its good to know we have friends right here that help us fulfill some of that wisdom that Steve mentioned

    I know for me I had to stop all mind conflict as mentioned above
    Its totally helped me so much and im still on that road of change
    Im not where I want to be but im sure a lot better than I was.
  12. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Herbie, yes, it's good to remember the fun times we had as kids.
    I grew up in the hard times of the 1930s Great Depression but didn't know we were poor.
    No one I knew was rich. The government relief truck stopped at everyone's door each month
    with potatoes, prunes, and oatmeal. My older brother and sister and I took our coaster wagon
    to a railroad yard a few miles away and ladies working in produce warehouses tossed down to us
    heads of lettuce, cabbage, carrots.

    I did think one of my grammar school pals was rich. He invited me to his folks' apartment
    after school one cold winter day. My hands were chapped from the cold and no mittens, so
    he took me to the bathroom and showed me their Hinds Honey and Almond Cream dispenser.
    I punched the button and out came soothing cream I wiped over my hands and thought
    he was rich to have such a wonderful thing at home.

    I still laugh about that. And lots of other things that happened when I was a boy.
    They drive out the times I thought I was poor or unloved. I was loved. My folks didn't show it,
    but I know they loved me. So did God, and he still does.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  13. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Walt that is a great story and a good reason as kids we wish
    we had it as good as other kids. I remember Nike and Levis
    were the clothes to have and if you didn't have them,
    well you were considered poor.

    My mom hand made our clothes and my dad did the best he could
    I knew I was poor and really I didn't care, I was a kid and tarzan was a big
    hit then, I was swinging in the trees and living it up as the
    incredible hulk. Now a days I wont even celebrate Halloween.

    Im to grown up for that, but aint that supposed to be the kid
    I wonder am I just letting to much of the fun times go?
    I guess ill start climbing trees again and maybe I can-
    laugh at myself when I reach the top.
    Im actually laughing at myself now.

    Thanks Walt Now that's a great thought
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Kids today want $100 gym shoes.
    My sister, brother, and I each had one pair from a department store for under $5 and wore it until it fell apart.

    Our street shoes always wore out in the soles and we stuck cardboard inside so we had some protection
    from the street and rain or snow. The sole would come loose and we would walk with them flapping.

    We still never got a new pair of shoes. A local shoemaker would repair them with a "half" sole glued and
    nailed to the shoe.

    Those really were the good old days.

    And we did "chores" for a dime a week. Do kids today do chores in or outside the house?
    Before I was a teenager I learned how to scrub the floors, vacuum, dust, cook, clean the dishes,
    wash the clothes in the bathtub, iron clothes, repair a broken cord in a lamp.

    I shared an apartment with a friend after college and the army. I said I'd clean the living room and
    kitchen, but asked him to keep the bathroom clean. I gave him a roll of shelf paper to put up in
    the medicine cabinet. He came out of the bathroom an hour later and asked, "Walt, how to you
    put up shelf paper?'

    He was a college graduate working as an insurance agent. I didn't renew the apartment lease with him.

    He was from a rich North Shore Chicago family and never learned how to do anything domestic.
    I wonder if he married a girl who did. I hope so.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  15. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Walt my nephews and nieces , if they had to sweep a floor or
    fix a lamp. Well it just wouldn't be happening.

    The kids my son hangs with don't even know what washing
    a dish means. Now they wonder why the don't have a Job

    Well you have to get up and go to work ya know.

    Its funny how things have changed. I wasn't from your day
    but mama always kelp a hickory about 6 ft long
    and if the house wasn't clean by dinner, well you know the consequences.

    She was firm and knowed how to give love as much as a good ol country
    whopping with the best of em- she wound up giving every neice and nephew I have
    that country whopping and you know what Walt- They all love and admire her.

    She's in heaven now but she's the one everyone talks about
    when we talk about love. Ahhh the good ol days.
  16. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Some tips...
    - stop watching the weather forecasts every day, only do it for really practical reasons.
    - watch the news only so often. If something really important is going on, people will tell you. If you think about, most news is not really important.
    - when you have to make that annoying call with a company or institution, make sure you have something to do. Go draw or write something, it will take your mind off and stops you from getting overexcited from the waiting. Don't be prejudiced that it will be annoying.
    - buy a mosquito net.
    Sheree and Eric "Herbie" Watson like this.
  17. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I totally agree Gigalos and add to that the gossip we all hear
    ya know the kind that's always about other folks and how
    they need think better , drink better, walk better
    and talk better- I know folks that -that's all they know to talk about
    other folks business, it tends to drag me down and then I leave.

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