STRESS, it’s a killer!

For those who have been around our office for any length of time, you know that I frequently say that stress is what causes the conditions we treat at MHWC, although this is certainly also true for patients seeking traditional medical care.

Stress is a three-dimensional problem. There is Physical Stress, Bio-Chemical Stress, and Emotional Stress and each dimension can affect the others.

There is no shortage of stress in our world today. We might be feeling nervous and anxious about our economy which is an example of emotional stress. This emotional stress may then cause us to make bad lifestyle decisions regarding our diet which would be an example of putting bio-chemical stress on our system. The emotional stress might make us feel less motivated to exercise or stretch. It is also possible that the foods we eat don’t properly fuel our bodies leaving us with little energy to do anything physical which is a form of physical stress. As you can see it creates a vicious cycle causing a downward spiral in our health and wellness.

The good news here is that stress can be positive or negative influence. Influential endocrinologist, Hans Selye calls this eustress (positive influence) and distress (negative influence). Take a look at stress chart below and, work on replacing a few of your negative stress habits for some positive stress.

Stress Comes in 3-Dimensions & Can be a Positive or Negative Influence

Positive / Eustress Negative / Distress


Positive / Eustress
  • Cardio Exercise
  • Strength Training
  • Stretching
Negative / Distress
  • Over work
  • Poor Posture
  • Repetitive activity

Mental Emotional

Positive / Eustress
  • Praying/Meditating
  • Hobbies
  • Positive affirmations
Negative / Distress
  • Unreasonable expectations
  • Negative Self-Talk
  • Arguing with others


Positive / Eustress
  • Meal planning
  • Taking quality supplements
  • Eating organic whenever possible
  • Adequate amount of water (drink half body weight in ounces daily)
Negative / Distress
  • Fast food
  • Processed food
  • Sugar
  • Saturated fat
  • Drugs/Smoke

While breaking the downward cycle might be easier said than done, here are a few suggestions that just might keep you healthy and could save your life in the long run.

  • Limit or possibly even stop watching the news. There is not much you or I can do to change anything anyway.
  • Changing your perspective occurs from changing your input. Watch something funny, wholesome, or inspirational. What old time classic movie or TV series can you dive into?
  • Find or resurrect a hobby. Get your mind into something that captures your mind and spirit.
  • Join a gym AND GO… too many start a membership, go for a month or two, then let it lapse. Establish a routine where you etch out a specific time 2, 3, or 5 days a week to work on you. Once you gain some momentum, you may end up with a new habit!
  • Can’t commit to a gym membership? Go for a walk around the block. Find a slight hill to walk up. A good brisk 20-minute walk is better than Prozac for mild to moderate depression.
  • Focus your efforts on improving your diet. Take a cooking class. Do some research about nutrition. Fast food and overly processed foods are among the most toxic for our health. If it comes in a box or a can, it is an unhealthy choice. Think single ingredient foods that you cook at home. This will not only reduce your bio-chemical stress, but your focus and engagement will surely reduce your emotional stress.
  • Take some you time. Meditate, think positive thoughts, or pray. Negative self-talk will keep you mired in a downward spiral of self-defeat and depression. If I spoke to you the way you speak to yourself, you’d hate me. Instead, think of three things to be grateful for every day.

Just keep in mind that it is all a choice. You can choose to be happy and upbeat, or you can allow stress to drag you down.

A fun nonsensical expression I learned decades ago is, Illigitimi noncarborendum; Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

As always, your feedback is appreciated.

Solutions for Better Health, Naturally!