Saturday, November 10, 2012

Stress kills

Day after day most of us are healthy enough to get by. It’s amazing. We eat bad food, drink the wrong things, carry dangerous viruses and bacteria in our bodies. Cancer cells appear all the time.

How come all of use haven’t dropped dead? Most of us have pretty decent immune systems. We are exposed to nasty stuff and most things are dealt with before we even know it. When we do get sick, usually our immune systems fight back and heath returns.

People with compromised immune systems know how dangerous the world is. A normal person’s sniffles turns into pneumonia for those with weak systems. Their days are filled with risk avoidance and powerful antibiotics. It’s a tough way to live.

Stress can quickly weaken your immune system. We’ve all seen people get deathly ill after a stressful event like a divorce or the death of a loved one. Often after a spouse’s death, the surviving one does not survive very long.

Disasters of all kinds cause immense stress, both physical and mental.

We are well aware of the physical problems. Preppers concentrate on keeping warm, dry, hydrated and well fed. Those are key to avoiding physical stress. We’ve got stored food and water. Most of us have alternative ways of cooking and keeping warm. Some thought has been giving to emergency shelter. Even a good tarp is way better than nothing at all.

Mental stress is often glossed over. Most of us think we are strong willed and don’t have to worry about that. Maybe so, but day after day, stress can wear anybody down.

Lack of security is a big stress factor. Just having an assault rifle will not eliminate your stress. Everyone in a war zone has a rifle, yet they all have very high levels of stress. They might have a gun, but they don’t have security. Someone hidden away from the battle in a remote forest or cave will feel a lot less stress, even if they don’t have an assault rifle. Which situation would you rather be in: all alone but with the best assault rife in the world, or with a group of trained people but only armed with hunting rifles? I’ll take the group any day.

Security is never a 100% thing, at least for the living. Sometimes people are stuck in a situation and have to make the best of it. It might as simple as being less visible and a bit tougher than most other people. A looter rather go to an upscale unprotected house than a humble house with watchful eyes. You don’t have to outrun the bear, as long as you can outrun the slowest camper.

We stress over loved ones. What do you do if not everyone makes it home or to your bug out location? What about your friends and family who aren’t prepared for disaster? Then you’ve got to ask yourself some hard questions. Do you have a reasonable chance of finding these people and helping them? If so, do that. If searching for one lost sheep costs the whole flock, don’t do that. Figure out what makes sense and come to terms with your decision. Then stop worrying about it. Either you’ll be doing something or there is nothing to do. Stress won’t help them. Once I’ve done all that I possibly can, I then turn to a higher power. God has wide shoulders, he can worry about it. Works for me.

Our imagination can be our worse enemy. When we lack solid knowledge, our thoughts can spin out of control. Scenario after scenario goes round and round in our heads. Stop that. Get the best information you can, realizing it might be incomplete or even outright wrong. Ask yourself if that information is actionable. Can you do something about it? If not, don’t worry about something you can’t change.

Develop some ways of dealing with stress. Stress can turn you from a rescuer into a victim. Be part of the solution, not another problem.



  1. So true Six. Stress, I believe is the foundation that wrecks living happy and healthy. Get past focusing on bad things as quickly as you can and be positive.

    1. Most of the time we worry about the wrong things anyway.

  2. Being a mom in these times it's especially hard not to stress out.

  3. I have a few cans of stress relief every day : )

  4. Sounds like pretty sound advice to me, buddy!

  5. It is wasted emotions to worry over something you can't change. If you can change the situation and don't, then it is on your head.

  6. All you stated I knew. Yet being reminded of it so succinctly helped me lower my stress level over a stress-full situation I'm facing right now. Thank you!


    1. You are certainly welcome. Glad to have helped.