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High and Short is Better Than Low and Long

I’ve read a number of books giving first-hand accounts of POW experiences during WWII.  As you can imagine, the stress, hardship, torture and grief were unimaginable.  Incidentally, one of the best was “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand.  What becomes obvious in these books is that we humans can endure a tremendous amount of stress over the short term without too many deleterious consequences.  On the other hand, we have a much more difficult time being healthy when under constant lower grade stress over a long period of time.


Photo courtesy of puritani35


It’s the smaller but steady stress that get us, much like the proverbial frog in the boiling water.  The reason it’s such a problem is that it changes our physiology from being growth oriented to survival oriented.  We can handle survival mode for a short time when we are actually trying to survive but our physiology doesn’t do well in survival mode when it goes on for years and years.


My suggestion is to evaluate your life and to look specifically for how much peace, contentment and ease you have.  Or do the worries, troubles, and busyness of life continually choke away your peace?  Should you find they are, it will be much healthier for you to endure the short term stress of changing them than the long term stress of living with them.


On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being terrific, where would you rate your state of ease?


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