Stress and Your Energy Bank

Stress is inevitable, you are going to have it, how you deal with it is a matter of choice.  Stress influences our feelings, and how we behave, it also alerts us to danger, this is positive.  On the other hand, too much stress (i.e., chronic and prolonged) can cause mental and physical distress and deplete our energy bank.   In an effort to cope sometimes wrong choices are made (i.e., smoking, drinking, comfort eating or engaging in addictive behaviors) in an effort to relax.  Making the wrong choices combined with chronic stress wreaks havoc on the immune system and inflammatory processes, which has a cascading effect in the body, resulting in illness.

Risk Factor—Stress in Women

In 1974, Friedman and Rosenman published the best seller Type-A Behavior and Your Heart, which was recommended by many cardiologists at that time. As a teenager, I remember my father reading it, and his self-assessment was that he was a Type A. This book motivated many studies and quickly Type A was part of our everyday language. In 1989, Rosch took this idea a step further and proposed that Type A is self-perpetuating behavior because the stress of this behavior induces adrenaline, which correspondingly keeps the person working harder and harder. This idea makes sense to me. For example, when I was an EMT in my younger years, we used to joke about how we were all “adrenaline junkies” that got high from excitement waiting on the rigs for the next call.