Stress and Illness



For crying out loud...

The Centers for Disease Control report that more than half of all deaths between the ages of 1 to 65 result from stress. Another study estimates that 110 million people worldwide lose their lives annually to disease caused by unmanaged stress. Although the United States accounts for only 5 percent of the world’s population, we consume 33 percent of all anti-anxiety pills.

According to Norman B. Anderson of the APA, 75 percent of all health-care costs are associated with chronic illnesses, and a key driver of chronic illnesses is stress.

Stress can be directly linked to all six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung disease, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide. A good shrink can help you shrink your problems. But why not teach your children how to shrink their own problems while they’re young enough and the problems are small enough to be self-shrunk? (Hey, I’m cheap, but wouldn’t it save a whole lot of time, grief, pills and money?)

Some say light is the best disinfectant. I’d argue that sound is a pretty great disinfectant as well. Giving your child the gift of your time, complete attention and care—along with the practice of sharing their hurts, fears and concerns out loud each night—is a beautiful and powerful step on the road to mental and emotional health. 

So, Highs AND Lows tonight? Every night?