Stress is now linked with heart disease, arthritis, ulcers, high blood pressure, constricted blood vessels, and mental disorders. These are the negative aspects of excess stress. But there are important positive aspects too.

An occasional shot of adrenalin is a great cure for boredom and indifference. We often do our best when we are under some stress. But beyond a certain level, which is different for each individual, stress becomes destructive.

Get to know how much stress you need to make you perform just that little bit better, but before it becomes damaging and unhealthy.

Making it work for you.

Everyone reacts differently to that ‘red alert’ stress. Some find great stress or even danger a great pleasure, for others it’s simply too much to cope with. A few even become addicted to stress, depending on high levels of stress hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenalin in the system instead of nicotine or alcohol. They live with prolonged high levels of stress for so long, that it seems normal. This can be serious.

For example, business tycoons and pop stars can suffer from being stressed, also alcoholics. They find it very hard to go back to normal everyday life.

Cigarettes and alcohol are not the answer either. Both bring many of the same physiological changes in the body as stress itself. Nicotine, for instance, raises blood pressure, the heartbeat rate, and levels of stress hormones, and cholesterol. While smoking and drinking may seem to help for the time being, they are actually contributing to the stress overload problem in the long run.

But when stress is handled well, it gives us added motivation to overcome obstacles, and an ideal warning system that brings awareness and strength to handle threatening situations that might damage or destroy our happiness, safety and self-esteem. The ability to work under pressure is an important asset.

Don’t try to avoid stress altogether – use it instead. Every crisis offers an opportunity to let the adrenalin work. Take some kind of action to burn up that extra stress-energy. Make a decision, hit the ball hard, scrub the floor very hard, run around the garden fast and when the crisis is over, learn to forget it and relax.

Excess tension can be eliminated with amazing ease, once you develop a tool for conscious relaxation and use it regularly. Deep relaxation and stress are like two sides of a coin; each is exactly opposite of the other brings about. They complement each other like light and dark, summer and winter. Learn to move from one to the other and you have a key to success in almost every thing you try. Sounds simple? It is.

Tranquillizers are not the best solution to continual stress; the longer you take them the less effective they become. There are serious side effects, too; try not to rely on pills to much.

To conclude: ‘If you listen to your fears you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.” Read what Isaiah 39:18 states – “For I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but your life shall be as a prize to you, because you have put your trust in me, says the Lord.”

For further information, treatment and training in massage therapy, do not hesitate to contact Nevis Holistic Massage Centre, at Farms Estate, Charlestown, Nevis. Tel: 469-5464.