How Does Stress Affect Our Lives?
The American Institute of Stress estimates that 75% – 95% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related problems. In fact, the Congressional Prevention Coalition on Stress Prevention (7/98) cited an estimate that 90% of disease is caused or complicated by stress.
A great many of us experience stress in the workplace. The year 2000 Annual “Attitudes in the American Workplace VI” Gallup poll found that 80% of workers feel stress on the job. Nearly half of those people said they needed help in learning how to manage stress.
What’s more, stress has a number of noted health effects. The Journal of the American Heart Association (5/21/2002) reported that mental stress caused the inner layer of the blood vessels to constrict, which may increase the risk of sudden cardiac death. The American Medical Women’s Association Complete Health book links high levels of stress with weakened immune systems, colds, coughs, asthma, urinary tract problems, arthritis, and digestive tract problems.
The physical and emotional consequences of stress drive many to seek ways to deal with stress. And although many different stress management techniques are offered, most focus on either changing the world around you (i.e. avoiding certain people or situations) or trying to calm the symptoms (i.e. deep breathing, meditation). These are the most common ways for coping with stress.
How the Option Institute Can Help You to Manage Stress
We help you to uncover and possibly remove the root cause of your stress. We have found that stress is not a product of circumstance, it is the result of particular sets of beliefs and ways of thinking. In fact, two noted sources (the American Institute of Stress and Stress Directions, Inc.) define stress as a response to a perceived demand, pressure, or lack of control.
This is precisely the area upon which our stress management techniques focus. We help you to change the way you perceive people and events in your life. So rather than simply giving you management techniques, we show you how to move beyond your stress by uncovering and then discarding the beliefs, perceptions, and modes of thinking that got you there in the first place. Then you are no longer at the mercy of external events, and instead, you can become the architect of your own internal experience.