They say it’s not good for you, that too much stress will kill you in the end, but I wonder. I know someone who looks much older than she really is and, as far as I can tell, has never known stress like others have. She just lies in the sunshine all day and plans her life from one holiday to the next. While I also know plenty of people that lead incredibly stressful lives but still look far younger than their years.

But maybe I am approaching this blog from the wrong angle? Perhaps it makes more sense to look at stress another way? Surely the reason why we all worry about stress and its effects is because we are scared about having a heart attack or getting a nasty stress related illness? Now I don’t know about you but I don’t know a single doctor that won’t tell me that stress is not good for me. But what to do about it?

I was having lunch the other week with a senior executive of a large multi-national. He looked relaxed and contented in his new position. He told me about his previous job and how that now he was the ‘big boss’ the stress levels seemed to slip away. Sure he still had targets to meet and objectives to achieve but he was responsible for a team over which he had some influence (and dare I say) ‘control’. He told me:

“I now know why it was that I was so stressed before. I know how it affected me and those around me. But it is important to remember, that some people get stressed about having to go to the post office to buy a postage stamp”.

I understood the point he was making and I could see for myself how good he was looking in his new role as CEO. And I could recognize too how an elderly person may get stressed, worrying about going to the post office to buy a stamp. And how, indeed, I too could very easily get stressed having to stand in a long line of chattering people just to buy a stupid stamp for a birthday card for my brother.

So don’t be upset if I say you’re looking stressed. Take it as a compliment. The only question worth asking is: “is the reason I am stressed worth the health risk? Is it worth getting an extra grey hair or wrinkle? If not something needs to give!”

Have a good week,