It is a well known fact that stress is a major cause of illness today. But what is stress and why is it so destructive?
Stress is created as a result of the way your mind reacts to outside influences. Depending on how you react, this can produce an internal response that inhibits the growth and productivity of your body, mind and spirit. When you are stressed out, you are putting yourself in protection mode, and protection is the opposite of development.
When you are stressed out, this is also when your sympathetic system is dominant. Among many other things, this causes your body to pump out fight or flight hormones which repress activity in your prefrontal cortex (the center of conscious activity), and oxygenated blood is taken away from your visceral organs and is concentrated in your extremities, thus potentially starving your organs. When your mind and body become pre-occupied with survival like this, the result is not only no room for positive growth, but the appearance of dis-ease becomes very real.
"A sustained protection response inhibits the creation of life-sustaining energy. The longer you stay in protection, the more you compromise your growth. In fact, you can shut down growth processes so completely that it is a truism that you can be 'scared to death'." ~ Bruce Lipton, Biology of Belief
According to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Burden of Disease Survey:
The American Stress Institute reports that:
- Mental disease, including stress-related disorders, will be the second leading cause of disabilities by the year 2020.
- Although the term "stress" is used in a wide variety of contexts, it has consistently been demonstrated that individuals with stress and related disorders experience impaired physical and mental functioning, more work days lost, increased impairment at work, and a high use of health care services.
- The disability caused by stress is just as great as the disability caused by workplace accidents or other common medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis.
- More than 40% of all adults suffer adverse health effects as a result of stress.
- More than 75% of all visits to primary-care physicians are for stress-related complaints or disorders.
- Stress has been linked to all leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents and suicides.
- Stress is responsible for more than half of all workdays lost annually.
- Approximately 80% of the health-related problems in technologically-advanced countries are stress related.
What does all this have to do with PATHS?
When you use PATHS, all the necessary instructions for you to not only resist stress, but to let potentially stressing situations just roll like water off of your shoulders, are there. PATHS can provide you with support in your desire to produce a more positive and confident attitude, as well as giving you the help you need to create and maintain your healthy life-force energy.
If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
~ Marcus Aurelius Antoninus