By Dr. Scott Colasanti
If you live near the US border, as I do, just outside Windsor, Ontario, you may think of the jingle for the US Army when you hear this phrase. From a health perspective being ‘all you can be’ really does take some effort and ironically we are in a battle against the negative impact of stress.
Stress comes in many forms, and there are good stressors (or eustress) and bad stress (or distress). It was the research of Hans Seyle that put this into light. He was an endocrinologist that did research on the effects of stress on the body. He was able to measure how stress affected our endocrine system and he discovered that prolonged stress to the body would cause a pathological state. In other words, stress can really make you sick.
We can also break down these stressors into three basic categories: physical (exercise, repetitive or sedentary jobs), chemical (pollution, pesticides, food preservatives, radiation), and emotional/spiritual (stressful relationships, fast-paced lifestyle, lack of spirituality).
In today‘s society we are plagued by the effects of our fast-paced lifestyles. In this age of convenience most of us work too hard don’t eat right and don’t exercise enough. Not to mention the effect of our environment. The air is polluted, the food is full of chemicals, and we are exposed to multiple forms of radiation – to mention a few. We can attribute this fast pace type of lifestyle to the most common ailments or diseases that we see today. For example: High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, ulcers, diabetes etc.
Sounds hopeless doesn’t it?
But there is hope. Keep in mind that our bodies are extraordinarily resilient, and that these diseases are for the most part preventable. We can feel better by taking better care of ourselves. If we make efforts to eat healthier foods that are less processed, exercise regularly, and find balance in our relationships, take time out for ourselves, we will win the war against stress and ultimately disease – and we will truly ‘be all that we can be’!