Stress is neither a symbol of status nor an indication of your importance. It is merely a one-way ticket to high blood pressure, jangled nerves, physical exhaustion, emotional instability or even a heart attack. These are not pleasurable things, and therefore, at all times, stress should be avoided like the plague.
You see when the mind believes that danger is present, the biological flight-or-fight impulse kicks in. Of course, the impulse originally evolved in the human psyche to provide the physical energy boost required to flee from a lion or to fight off an enemy racing toward you waving a sword. When the impulse is triggered, the heart rate rises, blood pressure soars and blood flows from the stomach to the arms, the legs and the brain so that great physical challenges can be met. But if all this is repeatedly happening while you’re sitting in traffic or stewing at your desk with no physical outlet, it’s like blasting a sound system at top volume for no reason. Eventually, you are going to blow a speaker.
Stress is real, and it’s a direct result of your perceptions about what is happening around you. If you allow yourself to get worked up into a frenzy on a regular basis, and then keep it all bottled up inside, you will actually be causing yourself physical harm. And since emotional outbursts are frowned upon in the workplace, a brisk walk around the block may remind you that there is no lion.
(From the writings of Michael Flocker)