Stress: Avoid Desktop Stress (cont.)

Moderator: What diseases are related to stress?

Zalma: Heart disease. That's the main one. When you're stressed, your heart pumps harder and faster so it's working more. I'm sure there are many others.

Moderator: What do people who manage stress well have in common? Is there a common denominator? How about similarities for people who manage stress poorly?

Zalma: Hmm ....People who manage stress well usually have a good diet, have found outlets for their stress (exercise or hobbies that take them away from stressful situations), and they deal with stress better by not getting worked up over it as much! (laughs) We all know the person who, when confronted, they blow off and scream and yell! A person who doesn't deal with stress well usually has a poor diet, doesn't have a lot of extracurricular activities and is the person that blows up! It's all how we perceive things. If you take everything that happens to you as life or death and the end-all, then you're going to drive yourself nuts! If you pick and choose your battles, and say "This isn't worth it and I shouldn't get all flustered," and you can make that determination, then you'll be a happier person. That's just my opinion.

Moderator: How do YOU manage stress?

Zalma: (laughs)!! Very badly! I play volleyball, that's my big stress reliever. My company's gone from small to very large very quickly and I'm just learning how to deal with it. I'm getting a better diet, and exercising more. And, I'm finding people around me that I can lean on. Having a good social support system helps. My wife is my best friend and biggest supporter, and she makes it so that I can go on. Having good friends and family can help. If you don't do that, then get out there and find things that make you happy or find things that supplement the things that don't make you happy.

Moderator: What can you recommend for someone who has very little time to exercise or get massages?

Zalma: Hmm ...Probably the best thing would be to look at your life! (laughs) Why don't you have a lot of time? I hear "I don't have time to eat. I don't have time to breathe." How well are you functioning without taking that 1/2 hour or hour for lunch? I see so many people that don't eat because they're too busy. You'll find you'll feel better and get more done if you find the time to eat, take that hour. Find a moment that you can do a bit of exercise, run around the office for five minutes, that'll get your heart rate up. That doesn't take a lot of time. Or, when you're in bed, so a few sit ups. It's not as much the exercise you do, it's if you enjoy it or not, and if it takes you away from the situation that you're in. I know people who put headphones on, sit in a corner and listen to music that they love and sometimes that's all you need! Just those five minutes by yourself, listening to something other than someone yelling at you.

Moderator: If stress management is so important (I recently read that two-thirds of all visits to the family doctor are for stress-related disorders) why isn't there more value or education on stress in our society?

Zalma: Because the modern medicine world still considers stress an individual problem. Nowadays they're finding out more that it is a problem that affects everyone and if it is not addressed, it'll be a big problem. The family doctor usually doesn't know what to do. They'll prescribe drugs that'll calm you down or suggest a change in diet, but usually the person that can change things is you. My advice is take it slow and take one little thing and take that step ... go for a walk after work, or walk to work if you can. Maybe that's the first step toward a less stressful life.

Moderator: How important are sleep, exercise and diet to combat stress in the workplace?

Zalma: It goes back to what I've said earlier

Moderator: What typical injuries can be helped by massage?

Zalma: Almost any physical injury. As long as it's not disease-related, but even with those ....We get a lot of fibromyalgia. Things you can help are muscle pains, stiff necks, pain in the arms, depression, even the flu! Sometimes people come in when they're sick or they have a head cold, stuffing up their noses, and there's points that will help open up their noses, sinuses. You can't say the benefits of massage in one sentence. It's just finding a therapist that can do that for you. It's the oldest medical profession.

Moderator: What can we learn from Eastern medicine to relieve stress?

Zalma: A lot! I wish the western medicine people would look more toward the east. Everything from herbs, to acupuncture to energy work. Everything that the east has brought us, we disregard and call it holistic, when in actuality it's been here a long time before western medicine has been. It's researching and finding out what you need ... an herbalist or an acupuncturist ... or a massage therapist .. it's just what you need.

Moderator: How can people distinguish external stress (work, family, money, bad luck, car trouble, etc.) from internal stress (like depression or bipolar disorder), when internal and external stress both seem to drive a person crazy?

Zalma: (laughs!!) Good question! Internal problems like depression and bipolar are usually manifested and always there. A bipolar person will usually be always depressed and always manic, one or the other. Stress will make them worse, but it's usually a deeper rooted problem. If every once in a while you feel like you're going crazy because of the situation, that's different than an internal illness. Do you get stressed out because of the situation? Or just because you're awake? (laughs)

Moderator: What are the main causes of stress in today's society?


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