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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Monday, March 5, 2012

External Stress,Dr. Hans Selye,and Distress

We know that stress negatively affects our health.   Today’s blog was prompted by a friend who recently lost her husband. In interacting with her, it was very clear how her psychological state has been compromised.  She had difficulty being alone, she was not sleeping well, nor was she eating.  She was depressed, was experiencing grief, and not effectively dealing with her psychological emotional state. She was in a state of distress.
 Quite a while ago, Dr. Hans Selye wrote about the mind-body connection involved with stress.  He defined stress as “a nonspecific response of the body to any demand placed upon it.”  More importantly, he believed that it is not stress that harms but distress.   Distress occurs when we have prolonged emotional stress, and do not deal with it in a positive manner. He described the general adaptation syndrome (GAS) which consists of three different stages: 1.alarm or fight, the flight response during which the body releases the hormone cortisol and prepares either for battle or retreat; 2. stage of resistance that allows our body to counteract the physiologic changes in response to stress; 3.stage of exhaustion   occurs when the body creates a situation of distress and responses can range from extreme fatigue to disease and possibly death.
The following is an External Stress Index.  This Tool may assist in evaluating current stress level and is based on external events that occurred within the last six months.  All you have to do is add up the appropriate values.
Life Event                                                                                              Value
Death of a spouse                                                                                 100
Divorce                                                                                                   73
Marital separation                                                                                 65
Jail or imprisonment                                                                              63
Death of a close family member                                                           63
Serious personal injury or illness                                                          53
Marriage                                                                                                50
Fired at work                                                                                          47
Marital reconciliation                                                                            45
Retirement                                                                                             45
Change in health of family member                                                      44
Pregnancy                                                                                              40
Sex difficulties                                                                                       39
Business readjustment                                                                          39
Significant change in financial state                                                      39
Death of a close friend                                                                          37
Change to a different line of work                                                         36
Foreclosure of mortgage loan                                                                30
Change in number of arguments with spouse                                       31
Change in responsibilities at work                                                         29
Son or daughter leaving home                                                                29
Trouble with in-laws                                                                               29
Outstanding personal achievement                                                       28
Spouse begins or stops work                                                                  26
Begin or end school                                                                                26
Change in living conditions                                                                    25
Trouble with boss                                                                                   23
Change in work hour conditions                                                             20
Change in residence                                                                               20
Change in schools                                                                                   20
Gain of new family member                                                                    19
New mortgage or significant loan                                                           17
Change in sleeping habits                                                                       16
Weight gain or loss over 10 pounds                                                        15
Total score of external stress events                                                    -------------
You may have additional external stresses, not mentioned above.  In any event, refer to part 2 tomorrow to evaluate your score. Source :Stopping The Clock,Dr's. Klatz &Goldman.


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