I took great many psychology courses in my college years. And they stood me well in my work as a physical therapist in terms of understanding how patients might respond to pain and illness. I remember learning about some of the early studies that linked stress and illness. And we all took the Holmes-Rahe inventory. I remember being fascinated by the fact that both positive and negative stress had a negative impact on health.
I was thinking of the inventory today and searched for it--yes, it's still around and there link is to an online version that will give you a stress score. I took it and scored well over 300. According to the interpretation, that is considered a major life crisis and is highly predictive of experiencing "serious physical illness" in the next two years.
For some time, I have been concerned about my overall well being. In many ways, this has been a wake up call for me to focus on taking care of myself, including dropping some weight and increasing my overall activity level. We are already careful of what we eat and follow a very well balanced diet, eating mostly local foods, in season, and with a minimum of processed foods. I don't smoke and I rarely drink, though I do have a caffeinated coffee habit I need to reign in a bit. In addition, I keep a journal and have an active gratitude practice.
This is a vulnerable time for me and my family. I keep reminding my father to be gentle with himself. It is a reminder I need for myself as well.
Again, I want to thank my friends, family, and readers of this blog for their support. Your kind emails and comments are very much appreciated.
Be gentle with yourselves. I will do my best to do the same.