Get Rich Or Die Trying: Is the quest for success killing you?


Everywhere you turn, you hear people saying, “I’m so stressed out,” or “I’ve been under a lot of stress.” What is stress?
Webster’s Dictionary defines stress as:
A physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation 
A state resulting from a stress ;especially : one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium…

When I was first introduced to 50Cent’s music I noticed the title of his album: Get Rich Or Die Trying. I am a huge proponent of hard work, but I am a bigger proponent of being alive to enjoy it. I will not “die trying” to attain something parishable like a few extra dollars on a paycheck. Often times on the road to success we pile drive ourselves into the pavement. Jobs can cause stress, families, weight issues, and social anxieties can all cause stress.

Consider this: if something happens to you and you cannot perform your job, the company will find someone to replace you or attend to your duties while you are out of commission. The world will not stop turning because stress got the best of you. So why let it get the best of you?

Fact: In 2009 the American Pyschological Association reported that many adults reported feeling the following physical effects of stress: 47% report lying awake at night, 45% report irritability or anger, 43% report fatigue, 40% report lack of interest, motivation or energy, 34% report headaches, 34% report feeling sad or depressed, 32% report feeling as though they could cry, and 27% report upset stomach or indigestion.

So,what they are really saying is that stress has the ability to make you an angry, tired, and depressed individual with an ulcer? That is horrible! Everyday people are packing tightly into doctor’s offices and hospitals with headaches, nose bleeds and even shedding hair, all due to stress. Something else no one seems to be discussing is that stress wears down your immune system. A compromised immune system can leave you open to more than just a common cold. Stress will always be around. How you manage it is what makes the difference. Here are a few of my favorite ways to fight off non sense that are low cost or won’t cost a dime:

-Breathe: I know it sound remedial, but how many times have you been doing something intense or very involved and realized you are holding your breath? You don’t have to wait to exhale, you are not a character in a Toni Morrison book.

-Smile: People under estimate the power of a smile. It is a powerful mechanism that each human has within themselves to uplift themselves or someone else without saying a word. So don’t be afraid to share a smile!

-Create Your Own Affirmations: You don’t have to stand in the mirror and recite “I AM somebody!” However, if it helps why not? Creating your own affirmations and mantras using positive words is constant reassurance that stress and negativity don’t take root in your day.

-Stop and smell the roses: You can smell roses, lavender, peppermint, coffee, or just about whatever smell you find relaxing. Aroma therapy is a tool that people can utilize through baths, massages, smelling salts, or just having the fragrance on hand to inhale directly from the source. It is proven to reduce stress and even increase restful sleep in some cases.

-Just Say No: Please have boundries. Saying “NO” to someone or something will not cause any type of catastrophic shift in the earth’s center of gravity. Saying no to someone else is sometimes saying yes to yourself.

If you find yourself hesitant because my tips seem too simple (I’ve heard that complaint before) here are some statistics that may make you think twice before procrastinating in regards to your stress level:

* The Stress in America survey results show that adults continue to report high levels of stress and many report that their stress has increased over the past year.
– American Psychological Association.

* 75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress in the past month and nearly half reported that their stress has increased in the past year.
– American Psychological Association.

* Approximately 1 out of 75 people may experience panic disorder.
– National Institutes of Mental Health.

* Stress is a top health concern for U.S. teens between 9th and 12th grade, psychologists say that if they don’t learn healthy ways to manage that stress now, it could have serious long-term health implications.
– American Psychological Association.

* 80% of workers feel stress on the job and nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress.  And 42% say their co-workers need such help.
– American Institute of Stress.

After all that talk about stress I am going to go get a massage! Til next time, stay stress free!

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