I had an unusual experience recently. I watched the scariest movie I had ever seen from my generation with my two sons, and they weren’t scared at all. What’s more, it wasn’t nearly as scary to me as I remembered. Sometimes, things are scary because of the way or the time we see them. Down the road, you look back on them in the light and wonder why you found it so frightening in the first place.
Several decades ago, when I first learned the research on stress, it scared me to death—even though I was glad to have found a reason for so much of the suffering in my own life. My wife was severely depressed, everything in my life was falling apart all at the same time, and nothing we tried helped. Suddenly, I knew why. The most credible sources on the planet, various renowned medical doctors, Stanford medical school, Harvard medical school, and even the United States government, all agreed on one thing: that stress is the source of almost any illness, disease, and nearly any other problem you could have.
Thankfully, this information is now very easy to find. More than that, really, you can’t get away from it! I saw a bunch the other day on the website of the American Institute of Stress, but this info is popping up all over the place now. Three out of four doctor’s visits are stress related. One in five Americans experience “extreme stress” such as shaking, heart palpitations, or depression. Stress increases risk of heart disease by 40 percent and stroke by 50 percent. Even some research that extreme stress can shrink regions of the brain related to emotions and physiological functions!
Personally, the more I’ve dug into this subject over the past few decades, the more I’ve realized that the problem is even more centralized and omnipresent than that. The United States government now recognizes stress is the main cause of upwards of 90 percent of illness and disease, and I think that figure is low. No doubt about it. The truth is out there, and it’s scary.
But for most of us today, all this news is so old that we don’t have much of a reaction anymore. It’s gone from terrifying to “ho-hum.” Maybe that’s a good thing, though not if it means we’re not inspired to do anything about it. Unlike back when I came across all this, today we have real, fast solutions that were basically nonexistent decades ago when I discovered this. You can’t patch the leak until you know where it is, so once we know where the stress in our lives is coming from, we have a proven process to reduce and even eliminate it.
So, I believe it’s time for all of us to stop being scared, stop ignoring the problem or waiting for it to get better on its own, and start fixing it today in as little as three minutes. I’m ready to help with that, right here, right now.
Have a blessed, wonderful day!