Weatherford Democrat

Lifestyles

November 30, 2007

Gardening is the purest of human pleasures

Jo Anne Boudreau, Democrat Columnist

People in our grandparents’ day didn’t suffer from stress the way we do today. They had plenty of stress but they knew how to get rid of it. Scientists feel that the problem today is not our stress level as it is our lack of stress-removing activities. The older generations unloaded their stress on a daily basis. They lived simple uncluttered lives, free of the gadgets that burden lives today. They wrote with a pen on paper and words flowed from the heart. They walked or rode horses; both the best exercise there is. And our ancestors ate food that was close to nature; grass fed and free range meat, home and local grown fruits and vegetables.

So many of us are so used to living with unresolved stress that we aren’t even aware of how it is affecting us. The American Institute of Stress lists stress symptoms as frequent headaches, trembling, neck, back, and muscle pain, dizziness, ringing in ears, frequent colds, infections, rashes, itching, allergies, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, difficult breathing, panic attacks, and irregular heartbeat. Also depression, anxiety, anger, insomnia, trouble focusing and making decisions, lonliness, overreaction to petty annoyances, minor accidents, lack of productivity, defensiveness, social withdrawal, weight gain, tiredness, and use of over-the-counter drugs. Environmental pollution also takes its toll. Most of us live in polluted environments with constant intake of toxins that cause our bodies to work to get rid of them causing nonstop stress. Stress is hard to describe but we all know how it makes us feel. As crazy as it sounds, physical inactivity is a source of stress. The body is meant to move, and not doing so causes strain and stress. Dr. Paul J. Rosch, director of the American Stress Institure says stress is taking a terrible toll on the nation’s health and economy. The stress doctor goes on to say that every week 12 million people take medications for stress-related symptoms and it costs American business $150 billion every year in lost production, accidents, and medical insurance.

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