In her insightful book, “The Superstress Solution,” Roberta Lee, M.D. assesses the stress level in most homes today, and offers a word of caution about chronic stress. In her introduction, she writes:
We’re deluding ourselves if we think that we can indefinitely endure the macro stresses that accompany impersonal encounters, less sleep, more work, less leisure, raising kids in this dangerous world, bad marriages, less exercise, junk and processed foods eaten on the run, hyper-caffeinated and sugar-saturated beverages, addictive devices that give us “screen sickness,” traffic jams, flight delays, and so much more, and come away unscathed.
Stress isn’t all, bad, of course. In fact, like dark chocolate, small chunks here and there can be good for you, or at least give you a reason to get of bed in the morning. But chronic and severe stress can damage your body and mind, blocking the fluid communication to and from most organs — especially in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and in the limbic system, the brain’s emotional center. Believe me, you want these two systems — much like the House and Senate — running as smoothly as possible, with low levels of the delinquent stress hormones in your bloodstream.
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