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Janet A Johnson's Business and Lifestyle Blog

Understanding Stress – An Unsuspecting Health Challenge

Posted: October 9, 2018

The key to proper stress management starts with understanding stress and it’s impact on health. Research has shown that lifestyle induced stress is a major cause for the increase in mental dysfunction and many physical health problems.  According to the American Institute of Stress, the number one health problem in America is stress. Medical practitioners have also been reporting a large number of patients with stress-related illnesses. In fact, in 2015 Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of SD reported that 75-90% of all physician office visits were due to stress-related ailments and complaints.  Further, in 2009, Dr. Mark Hyman, in his study on the mind-body relationship, reported that “95% of all illnesses are either caused by or worsened by stress. What you think can influence how sick or how well you are.  The mind influences the body, and the body directly and powerfully influences the brain.”

The Vicious Cycle of Stress

There are three components in the vicious cycle of lifestyle – induced stress

  1. Inaccurate Beliefs – moral and spiritual value system.
  2. Unhealthy Mental Cognitions – thinking and/or perception.
  3. Unhealthy lifestyles – faulty care of the body and an unhealthy response to stressors

Understanding Stress – The Vicious Cycle

Understanding stress, and it’s the vicious cycle, can help many to see the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including proper stress management. This begins with healthy thinking.  You see, unhealthy thinking, based on inaccurate beliefs and expectations, encourages unhealthy coping lifestyle. This results in unhealthy brain function, causing stress and encourages anxiety and depression. This leads to more unhealthy thinking, which encourages more unhealthy coping lifestyle. This, in turn, produces more unhealthy brain function, which multiplies anxiety and depression, and contributes to other health problems.

Solution to Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Stress

The solution to breaking the vicious cycle of stress is only a choice away. We can begin by learning new ways of relating to and dealing with the stresses and strains of our lives.  These new choices of perspective (thinking) and response to the circumstances we face, can begin the journey to new healing results.  Take note: If someone believes they can or cannot learn new ways of thinking about life’s challenges, this thinking becomes their reality! Let’s begin to make the change to a happier and healthier lifestyle.


Understanding Health Care Costs, Spring 2005 Report of Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of S. D., p. 9. 
Hyman, Mark, M.D. , The UltraMind Solution, Simon and Schuster, 2009, p. 17.

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Janet A Johnson

Hi, I am Janet A Johnson a Management Consultant and Life Coach with over 15 years strategic program/project management and business management experience. I am the owner of StrategyNook LLC, a consultancy agency specializing in strategic project management, business management, web development, branding, internet/social media marketing, life coaching and stress management. Schedule your free consultation today and let's talk strategy and customized solutions.

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