Someone told me that if you place frogs into boiling water, they will promptly jump out. On the other hand, if you put frogs into cool water and gradually raise the heat, they will just stay there until they boil to death.
We are like those frogs.
The stress in our daily lives adds up slowly, so subtly that we don’t even notice, until we (figuratively) find ourselves in boiling water.
Stress raises the levels of Interleukin-6 in the blood. Higher than normal levels of this chemical are associated with heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, type-2 diabetes and certain cancers.
Moreover, people who are stressed are no fun to be around.
I grew up on the only small island in the world that encourages stress – Manhattan. The zeitgeist of the over 8 million souls who live there is that small levels of stress will make you sharper, more productive and more clever.
But it’s simply not true – stress kills.
Life isn’t meant to be stressful.
- Take a breath.
- Ask yourself, “How important is it?”
- Meditate on the following, “The proper response to the inevitable is relaxation.”
An important note
The story of the frogs isn’t true! I just found out that researchers at the University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, put this popular analogy to the test.
The frogs will jump out! (For the link: click here)
Regardless, stress is still bad.
(I’ve always been a bit skeptical of lessons from the animal kingdom. When I first heard “a tiger can’t change its stripes” – a phrase used to underscore the moral that some things just can’t be changed – I said, “but a chameleon can change its appearance.”)
And, if you care to, click here to see comments on the streetprophets site where this article went up last week.