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    What’s Your Baseline Stress Level

    To start off with, I would like you to rate yourself on a scale of 0 to 10. Zero is you have no stress, no pressure in your life whatsoever. You’re so mellow that every day is rather like you are dream walking through the day. It’s kind of like you’re sleepwalking and never really even had to get out of bed. You feel so calm and so wonderful. There’s just nothing that bothers you at all. That’s “0”.

    Ten, on the other hand, is where you keep checking your pulse and timing it with the second hand on your watch to see if it’s time to call 911 yet! Because, you feel like you are on the verge of having a heart attack. That’s 10.

    So where do you rate yourself in your normal day? Not your vacation life. Not when you’re just hanging out at home watching TV. But where is your normal day? Where would you put yourself, on an scale of 0 to 10? Mentally, just pick a number, because you’re probably pretty accurate. Very few people are down to a 0.

    You probably want to normally float between 3 and 6. Somewhere in that range. You need a little stress to keep you going, but not so much that you are a stressed mess.

    Peaks and Valleys are Normal

    Very few people are up in 10 continuously. Most of us go up and down. Sometimes we’re lower, sometimes we’re higher. Sometimes events occur that just send us off the scale. Other times events occur that just mellow us out so much, and bring so much lightness, humor and relaxation into our lives, it’s just a piece of cake.

    Where are you normally? Remember it’s perfectly normal to go up and down. Your body is designed to do that. Your body is programmed to be able to cope with stressors that come up. Whether it is needing to eat, whether it is getting bills paid, whether it is getting through traffic or making a decision for yourself or your family. Whether it is starting a new job, or going through a new process at work that you have to learn in the near future.

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    No matter what it is, there are bits of stress and pressure that happen continuously. That’s okay. That’s normal. Your body is set up to handle that. What it doesn’t do well with is chronic, ongoing stress that just never abates. There needs to come a time when you get a break.

    Without a break your body just builds stress up and holds it in, and ultimately, it will take a toll on you. Stress can increase the hormonal levels in your body. It can depress your immune system. It can cause muscular tension or headaches. It can generate many adverse reactions.

    So a little pressure’s good; it gets us moving. Yet too much will have a negative effect on us. If we had no stress, life would be very blah. Next, let’s talk about the types of stressors that you can encounter.

    Various Types of Stressors

    Environmental Stressors

    The first type of stress is “environmental” stressors. Environmental stressors and pressures are things like the quality of the air you breathe. If you’re living in an environment where you’re regularly inhaling massive amounts of chemical fumes, smoke and pesticides, it can have a very detrimental effect. Or if the air quality is bad because you work in a factory and the air scrubbers don’t do a good job, you will be affected. Air quality may have a major impact on your physiology, energy, mental clarity, and your ability to be resilient.

    “Noise” stress is another environmental pollutant. Noise in our day and age is huge because of traffic, airplanes and machinery just to name a few. There was a research study done in New York City approximately 15 years ago. They analyzed children who lived right in the middle of the city, on a main street, on a lower or street level in the building, where there’s lots of street noise.

    What they found was that the noise which came in, because it never really abated, most children didn’t notice it. But if they were to change their living situation to a quieter environment, that on average the children had a grade point jump of .4. So if they were a 2.5 student on average, they would jump to 2.9, just by getting away from the noise pollution which was affecting them.

  • About the Author

    For nearly thirty years Dr. Larry Iverson has educated, motivated and entertained audiences. From his work with Olympic and world-class athletes to the main platform of Fortune 500 conferences, Larry delivers persuasion and communication strategies you can apply right now. Larry blends vision with his background as a Clinical Psychologist in guiding you on an insightful journey, while you develop insights that assist your personal development.

    Larry masterfully uses enthusiasm and humor to help you gain control in your life.

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