I call it the silent punisher. In the very least, it can be the ultimate agitation. The itch you can't scratch. The bill you can't pay. The grass you need to cut...again. And why doesn't the driver with the Massachusetts plate know that their blinker has been on for three miles?
Our ancestors knew stress. Neanderthals (some will state they are not part of the gene pool of modern human kind - sue me) had the stress of survival. Eat or be eaten. A broken bone sealed your fate. Hence, it was a miracle they lived to forty years of age.
Today? We live longer. Science and chemistry have seen to that. Instead of battling herds of wooly mammoth, we battle personal deadlines, inflation, money worries, wars amongst ourselves, social pressure, and diseases that may or may not be manufactured by the very environment we live in.
Same thing? Maybe. Where our ancestors had to fight for survival, more of their physical, instinctual and mental abilities were tested on the whole, daily.
Today, we are surviving on a different level. We match wits with styrofoam boxes instead of killing for our food. We sit all day in the name of being 'productive'. We don't walk miles to forage, rather, we jump on rolling treadmills to sweat for thirty minutes a day.
Still, there is stress. Like The Force, it surrounds us. Sometimes it obeys our commands. Mostly? Kills us slowly it will.
Like high blood pressure, it is silent. It can be seductive as well. Like a good cup of coffee, we grow addicted to heart pounding action. We feel we have purpose because "we're getting it done". To that end, we put deadlines on ourselves.
Is it worth it? Science tells us in many ways that stress is a great way to kill ourselves off.
Think of it if you take a car and max it out between each red light, eventually it will break. It's a fact not an opinion. The slower the pace of the car, chances are the more longevity.
As stated before, whenever I get cornered by stress (in certain areas of life it is inevitable), I repeat five things I am thankful for. Any five. It can be from the extreme to the extremely simple. Just do it. Repeat it. State it twenty times a day if you have to. And always remember to breathe.
It is all very mystic of me isn't it? Not really. It is clarity of thought and a restatement of what is important in life.
I can't stress it enough...