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Pressure to Perform, Pressure to Produce, Pressure to Control , Pressure to Change.


So what is the deal with stress?

Are you feeling it? I mean really, when was the last time you or someone you know was relaxed and happy?

It seems like everyone I encounter is under the gun in some area of their life. And we feel it. We feel it in us, and we feel it in them. We literally feel stress, pressure. Pressure to perform, pressure to produce, pressure to control, pressure to change. Pressure Pressure Pressure. Most of us reading this, and those of us writing this too (me), are certainly not exempt. If that is the case, if pressure and stress are normal parts of life, why are we always striving to eliminate it? Is it always a negative?

We feel stress in our bones, in our soft tissue, in our bodily functions. Stress affects the way our hearts work, the way our intestines work or don’t, the way our immune systems work or don’t. Every tissue in our body is affected by this stress. Our bodies will always manifest our emotional state. If you’ve ever been embarrassed, you know what I mean. Your face gets red, your heart starts pounding, your breathing rate increases. All normal adaptations to an emotion. And all emotions have an effect on us. Good positive emotions, as well as negative ones, will show up in the body somewhere, somehow. They never go unnoticed by our bodies.

What are we so stressed out about? Why is everything such a big deal? Most of us reading this live in a house, with clean water, hot if you like, with abundant calories, with locks that keep out intruders, with cars to drive, and fuel to power them, and pets and toys and security. We have an unbelievable sewer system that carries the mess away. Again, what are we stressed about?

Why is it when we meet someone that is actually relaxed and happy, that they are immediately suspect? They must be clueless, or wealthy, or broke, or have a better diet, we reason. OR, they have actually learned how to adapt better to stress, rather than blame it. Adapting is a much better skill, I would submit.

Why is being “stressed out” normal? Has it always been this way? Is a certain amount of stress healthy?

Over the next several weeks we will be exploring stress and the pressure we feel. And also what can be done to mitigate the long term effects of chronic stress. We will also discuss the difference between acute and chronic stress patterns. And if you haven’t been introduced to this term yet, we will explore hormesis. Fun right?

So relax. We CAN get a grip.

Enjoy this clip from Andy Griffith. Here is a time and place that seems completely devoid of stress and pressure and yet they comment on how much pressure they feel fairly often. Strange. What better place than Floyd’s Barber Shop to discuss this common human thread? We have included the entire episode because it is some of the finest TV ever produced. Pay close attention to the first 2 minutes or so because once Barbara Eden comes on the scene…

Andy Griffith, The Manicurist



2 Join the Conversation

  1. MaryKate DeBoer says
    May 18, 2018 at 4:13 PM

    I think I get stressed in's stressful when my kids are tearing apart the house (or the sectional couch we have), or when the dog brings her muddy paws in from outside. But it's not stressful to watch my kids play or throw the ball for the dog. Certain situations definitely raise my stress level to unprecedented amounts and I do feel it: my chest tightens, my blood pressure rises, I literally want to scream, and pace up and down and CRY. But I don't live there; I don't live in that zone. At one point in my life, there was financial stress, but not so much anymore. At another point in my life there was physical stress (like being pregnant, recovering from childbirth, being overweight) but not so much anymore. Maybe people THINK they are more stressed out than they really are...? Maybe people have more "problems" than I do...? If you asked me if I am tired, yes. If you asked me if I am hungry, yes (I like to eat). If you asked me if I'm stressed, no.

    • says
      May 18, 2018 at 10:46 AM

      We always enjoy your thoughts, MaryKate! Thanks for sharing!

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