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Stress may contribute to 85 percent of all medical problems, says Connie Tyne, executive director of the Cooper Wellness Program in Dallas, which counsels executives on stress reduction. Fifty-two percent of executives will die of diseases related to stress, according to Tyne.
A recent study found that people who get less than five hours of sleep twice a week or more are 300 percent more susceptible to heart attacks. Their overall rate of developing heart disease doubles.
Constant stress has been shown to shrink the hippocampus, a region of the brain that controls memory and concentration. "We all know anecdotally that when someone is under stress they don't have the clearest vision," says Tyne.
When a large corporation nearby was going thru layoffs, the number of car accidents on the way home from work shot way up and they had to institute safe driving classes. [Ed.]
The best antidote to stress is exercise. And viewed in the context of the chemistry of the fight-or-flight response, that makes sense. Exercise is simulated flight - a chance for all the sugars and hormones in the bloodstream to be used for their intended purpose. Exercise also feeds our brains some feel-good drugs such as dopamine and beta-endorphin—evolution's reward for safely escaping the tiger.
Source: Stress - science behind stress - strategies for coping - CIO Magazine Aug 1,2003
Stress and Cancer:
Drs. Holmes and Rahe devised a Social Readjustment Rating Scale that attempted to quantify the degree of distress caused by various life-altering events, ranging from the greatest stressors (the death of a spouse, divorce) down to such minor nuisances as getting a traffic ticket. While a noble effort, this Scale (or any other attempt to generalize about the effects of change) is of extremely limited use in predicting the likely impact of an event on a specific individual. This is partly because the same event can impact individuals very differently, depending on their coping skills, and partly because the events vary so widely in their unfolding. For example, the death of a young spouse in an auto accident would likely have a very different impact than the death of an elderly partner due to an extended siege with Alzheimer's. What CAN be generalized about individual reaction to change, though, is that over time internal psychological adjustments are made that usually bring most people back to approximately the same level of happiness they were at before the change occurred."
This does not cover all stressful situations, e.g. military service, death of a child, ... .
It does not consider steady state conditions like working too many hours, boring routine, not enough time for recreation/relaxation, Type A personality, etc.
See other stress factors above.
The table was updated in 1977 by Schaefer, Hiroto, Wilner and Levin.
See the Effects of Stress below.
The following table allows you to determine the total amount of stress you are experiencing by adding up the relative stress values, known as Life Change Units (LCU), for various events.
The test is used to determine of developing a stress-related illness in the next two years. Check boxes that apply and compute score below.
Adult StressHolmes and Rahe stress scale - Wikipedia
At Top 5 Stressful Situations & Stressors in life they say, "The death of a child is probably the worst pain anyone can endure and many people never fully recover from this type of stress, however, they do manage to go on with their lives for the sake of others around them."
See other effects of stress below.
Source of above calculator: Mark Henri (www.markhenri.com/health/stress.html)
The 20 most common stressors identified by individuals over 65.
Effects of Stress
The original Holmes-Rahe study estimated the chance of illness based on stress, but there are other effects.
The damaging effects of stress can result in changes in physiological processes which alter an individual's resistance to disease, as well as changes leading to fatigue or malfunctioning of the organ system. The following are examples of stress symptoms :
Source: Canadian Defence Academy - "Moving-on; A handbook for members preparing for release"
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