Stress: The Whole Truth

“I’m so stressed”; “I’m stressed out”—words spoken by people every day.

Stress is one of the most written-about areas in psychology. Just by listening and reading, one could easily conclude that stress is the cause for all that ails us. Feeling physically ill? Stress. Not sleeping? Stress. Having relationship problems? Stress. Forgetting things? Stress. Feeling depressed? Stress. Eating, drinking, drugging too much? Stress.

The literature is replete with assertions strengthening this hypothesis. Accordingly, stress can make you ill, weaken your immune system, make it hard to manage your emotions, damage your relationships, drive you to drink and smoke, foster addictions, age you more quickly, impair your memory, keep you awake at night, bring on anxiety and depression, and interfere with your sex life.[1] It wouldn’t be too much to say that stress kills.

It’s like that old adage, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Well, if the notion of “stress” dominates our diagnosis and understanding of everything that ails us, we shouldn’t be surprised to find indicators of stress everywhere we look. All we need now is the “cure” for stress and we’d all feel a lot happier.

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