Whilst deep in contemplation the other day, this thought rose from within. It is going to be one that may not appear politically correct these days, but at the same time, perfectly aligned.
Lets begin with this startling fact. The statistics tell us that the rate of stress related illness is on the rise. That in fact there is NO ILLNESS that does not have stress as a factor. To a name just a few, Women's Health reminds us that we know that stress is related to:
- Mental health disorders, like depression and anxiety
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal heart beats
- Menstrual problems
- Acne and other skin problems
Because stress interacts with our hormones, the body responds to this stress by releasing stress hormones. These hormones make blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels rise.
Now whilst I am not wanting to simply target women, I am going to say that because women deal with stress differently to men, that we see an elevation in a specific few related illnesses. Women deal with stress by 'tending', we turn our stress into doing something for someone else, this can even be cleaning, to feel we are 'coping'. Men on the other hand return to their flight or fight mechanics and remove themselves from stress and find something they can escape to, or fight their way out.
This stress can be an instrument in the rise of domestic violence, as much as a rise in the fatigue many women are facing today.
Lets look at symptoms
Now you know I have mentioned before that in the world of diagnosing, there are only a small number of symptoms that diagnose a huge number of illnesses and disease. If I tell you that:
- Not eating or eating too much
- Feeling like you have no control
- Needing to have too much control
- Lack of energy
- Lack of focus
- Trouble getting things done
- Poor self-esteem
- Short temper
- Trouble sleeping
- Upset stomach
- Back pain
- General aches and pains
Are all stress symptoms, you can see that we could turn any of these into a hundred other issues other than simply stress.
Here's what I do know
That in all my years of owning a variety of businesses, where obtaining client details to perform the best treatments possible was relevant, there were a few stand out every box ticked di-eases that came up time and time again.
Depression. Adrenal fatigue. Thyroid issues (or a form of autoimmune related disease)
Now these issues do impact upon men, but today, this one is a question to the ladies.
Because here is what I know. I can tell you, that STRESS and the way we operate our lives is at the very root of many MANY illnesses. That due to the way in which we deal with stress, our fatigue levels are at the 'exhaustion' levels or for some 'break down'.
So, it got me to thinking about the hows and why's of this. How the way in which we are living is directly related to this. How the fast pace we all now live is creating this. How the way in which we are running our lives is due to this.
The question - What if ...
So here is my what if. What if, on the way to creating huge change in our lives, in our seeking equality, having the 'liberty' now to become more than yesterday, that in observing the changes to our lifestyles (fast pace, corporate, high living, keep up with the Jones' mentality) we are creating greater stress within our bodies and within our being and therefore operating at higher levels of these illnesses?
What if, in seeking to do more, be more, have more, we are placing ourselves into the category that is directly causing this dis-ease?
What if, in women pushing to move our way up the corporate ladder, or to have a career and a family, or to have a strong relationship with every darn person we know, or to make sure we are keeping up with every other women in our friends list, that maybe, in this push for us to see ourselves as more, be more and have more, we are creating the very environment that cultivates this dis-ease.
What if women aren't meant for the high level stress and ways of today that is bringing rapid change into our body and causing us a lot of damage?
What if in seeking equality and striving for more we are actually making our health worse in terms of what we are doing, and how we are going about it?
I am not saying that we shouldn't
What I am posing is, what if the way we are seeking to bring about the changes in our lives, is causing this huge upheaval within us physically and creating this dis-ease? What then? What would we be choosing?
I have so many women, on my friends list, amongst my client list, who fit this bill. Who are in some way attempting the everything. Who are amongst the fight for change and whilst we want it - is it killing us?
Now - we are faced with a few issues here. One is that we ALL, each and everyone, deal with stress differently. And by no means is how we deal with life a fault in our making. It to me, is a direct link to mapping out the path for us. How we piece our journey together.
That if the rules of the game we are playing are killing us we should change the rules - or get out of the game!
Because whats it worth? Is our wellness, our physical and mental stability, our inner peace worth losing over being at the top of the corporate ladder? This is a very important dilemma for us to begin to question.
Because statistically, adrenal fatigue, exhaustion, burn out, auto immune disease has all risen within women during the time that we have had to excel ourselves forward.
That because of HOW we deal with stress, which is inherent to our making, how we COPE with stress is at the very base of all of this disease. And to change this, not surprisingly when I have worked with women to do the reverse, they have dramatically altered their wellness.
In recognising that we are not needing to excel at everything we can save ourselves!
I know you have heard it before - but I will ask you to read it again. We simply cannot and will never be able to please everyone all the time, nor please most most of the time, at best we may please some some of the time! We simply cannot continue to go down a path of doing it all - to have it all - because this mentality is killing us!
As women, it is not a part of our inherent nature to burn ourselves at both ends in order to have it all. We are and always will be a part of a team, a partnership that allows us to balance and build as we create.
In truly sitting down and looking at whats important, whats needed NOW we can begin to release, shuffle, clear, quit, move on ... etc in order for us to bring back a few things we really really need.
TIME and SPACE
To breathe, to be able to rest, recouperate, restore, regenerate. Our bodies, as life creators and life givers are not for burning out. Our energy doesn't flow the same as a mans in terms of how we work with stress or how we cope with it. At best we need to lessen the amount of stress in our lives. I can't begin to tell you what a turn around in your bodies balance and wellness that you will discover.
So this isnt about don't its about how
It's not to say we don't belong at the top of the corporate ladder, nor that we can't climb it. It's not to say we can't be equal amongst men and do what they do - nor have what they have.
Simply this is about stopping and looking at:
- the age and stage of our lives.
- the where we are at.
- the whats needed now?
- the what comes next?
- the whats most important?
- the what needs to be in our lives NOW?
If we can take the time to do this - in EARNST - we get to place our lives into mush greater balance. We get to put some order into the chaos. We get to have it all, just not all at once! Because we are literally killing ourselves in attempting this.
Yes we can. Yes we are capable. Yes we have the right or the means or the know how.
Just take some time to do it without bringing stress into our lives to make it happen.
No one asked for super hero - super mum - super woman - super bloody anything to be a piece of one moment.
Do it over a lifetime. Build your resume. Its like baking a cake if you throw everything in at once it just gets hell messy and you can't quite make out how to get the perfect cake that way.
Are brilliant. You are capable. You can do all the things - but not if stress kills you first. NOT if you allow your health to be destroyed before you get there.
Take a moment to consider what you ar doing with your life now, and how stress is at the base of so many of your issues and work ways in which to eliminate the very root cause of many of your problems.