Stress is a silent killer and I learned that the hard way.
According to Ulifeline stress is also a vital warning system, producing the fight-or-flight response. When the brain perceives some kind of stress, it starts flooding the body with chemicals like epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol. This creates a variety of reactions such as an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. www.ulifeline.org,
Our jobs are demanding and many people are being underestimated, undervalued and marginalized in life and in the workforce. Stress comes in many packages, but the overall effect on our lives is easy to spot. There are numerous physical and emotional symptoms associated with stress that it has been called the silent killer.
What is it about stress that would make it a silent killer, and what can we do to counteract it?
Starting in 2012, I was working in a highly stressed and toxic workplace environment where I was subjected to bullying for 2 1/2 years by my peers. I was working very long hours while supervising a staff of 11 people. Shortly, thereafter, I started having problems sleeping, headaches, all over body aches and pains. The real clincher was the excruciating chest pain that was occurring daily.
I was rushed to the emergency room by paramedics while at work on two separate occasions. Each time I had excruciating chest pain and difficulty breathing. The first time it happened I was told to take a few days off work and get some rest. Then about 6 months later it happened again and that was the last straw. I was kept overnight for observation and recall the doctor telling me I was on the verge of having a heart attack. I realized this was serious and was informed that numerous employees from my place of employment had been seen frequently in the emergency room all for stress related conditions. The last thing I recall hearing the doctor say is next time you may not be so lucky and to find another job.
I learned I was suffering from costochondritis and not a panic attack. Costochondritis (kos-toe-kon-DRY-tis) is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum). Pain caused by costochondritis might mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions. A large part of the pain associated with fibromyalgia occurs in the chest around the breastbone and rib cage. That is why chest pain and fibromyalgia are related.
Due to the debilitating effects of fibromyalgia I have not been able to return to work. The reason why stress is a silent killer is because it’s killing you: body, mind and spirit; until the day comes and you have a wakeup call to take action like I have done. It kills your thoughts and before long you start thinking negative beliefs about yourself, spiritually it disconnects you from your higher power because some days you are just to stressed out to pray or meditate. Next, you start noticing physiological changes such as irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, fatigue, depression and heart disease.
Remember, this does not happen overnight. It creeps up on you slowly and you become so caught up in the drama surrounding you and can’t recognize whats happening until STRESS hits the panic button and shakes you awake.
“Stress is a burst of energy,” says psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Tan of Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. “It’s our body telling us what we need to do.”
Moderate amounts of stress — the kind of short-term buzz we get from a sudden burst of hormones — can help people perform tasks more efficiently and can improve memory. Good stress is the type of emotional challenge where a person feels in control and provides some sense of accomplishment. It can improve heart function and make the body resistant to infection, experts say. Far from being something we need to eliminate from our lives, good stress stimulates us.
But, what I am talking about is bad stress….
For example, ongoing, or chronic, stress can slow you down and inhibit you from doing the things you need to do. This type of stress, negative stress, is detrimental to your health because you never really get a chance to recover from the effects of fight-or-flight. My body was constantly in a threatened state for two and a half years.
My immune, reproductive, excretory, and digestive systems went haywire and I started having trouble focusing, irritability, memory loss, depression, weight gain, and more. My stress didn’t go away overnight and I have suffered greatly because of it. What I have learned to do is change my outlook on life and how I choose to respond to stressors. Prayer and meditation has helped me tremendously.
Please check out the below video where I interview Dr. Larry Edwards about the benefits of prayer for healing.
What you can do to counteract stress is take inventory of your life and get help. Try to eliminate any unhealthy stressors and sometimes that means cutting loose relationships, things, people, family members, the job or whatever it is that is wreaking havoc on your life. If you are feeling depressed, please see a therapist. If you feel disconnected from your higher power, I highly recommend you reach out to your pastor, rabbi, priest, monk, etc. to get help. If you are experiencing physiological changes, please get help from a doctor.
You may not be able to quit your job but what’s important is that you get help.
I am hear for you, if you want to chat please give me a call @ 224/225-9478. Or, send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are not alone, I am hear for you and know what it’s like to be stressed out and miserable working in a toxic workplace environment.
Take care of yourself!