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Stress Can Be Good for Us

The older I become, the busier I am. You would think this would create a great amount of stress, but it is quite the opposite… if it is healthy stress.

As we age, I think we become more in touch with our physical feelings and emotional thoughts. Dear readers, your body talks to you. When you are faced with negative stress, don’t you feel a red light telling you to stop? And when you are faced with positive stress, don’t you feel a green light telling you to go? I do.

I find my positive stress light to be revealing because it signals me to go, even when I am creating insurmountable stress. It leaves me with a feeling of excitement and contentment because I am doing what gives me stressful pleasure. By my age, I know what makes me feel content and satisfied. Those positive feelings propel me into a meaningful personal lifestyle. Stop and think about your lifestyle. Are you good to go or are you feeling too much negative stress and need to stop?

Negative red light stress can raise your blood pressure, give you headaches, cause digestive problems and put you at risk for heart disease. It is up to you, and only you, to disengage from unfulfilling activities and delete people that are not filling up your cup. Add projects and people to your life that stimulate your mind and make you smile.

The topic of stress came to my mind yesterday when I had a conversation with a man who had open heart surgery. He brought up the relation between stress and his heart attack.

So last night I dreamed about some of my most stressful situations. They were a mix of red stress and green stress. My moves to Honolulu, Hawaii and Chicago were green stress. The rest were red. I was able to turn all of them to green because of my mindset. I had the emotional tools to eventually make sweet lemonade out of lemons.

You have all suffered from red stress. At this time, some of you are in serious or uncomfortable situations. You don’t know what to do or where to turn, but you can certainly turn some situations green. However, others hover over like a black cloud. It is up to you to create something in your lifestyle to distract you from these situations. You are in control of your stress.

I suffered long term and incurable red stress when I learned I had cancer. I was so sad and terrified. For years I would say every night to my ultimate concierge, “I am terrified.” I would begin worrying weeks in advance what my upcoming cat scan would show, asking myself a hundred times, “Will it be back?” It was RED STRESS personified.

Looking back to those difficult times ten years ago, I tried very hard to control my red stress. Sometimes, we have to feel our fear, sadness and disbelief, while we search for ways to distinguish our negative stress. I found that taking care of my health, following my doctor’s orders and living a relevant and engaging lifestyle kept my head above water.

Here is how I tried to turn my red stress to green stress:

  1. I saw a psychologist, who is now a close girlfriend, and she taught me to see all of life’s situations as grey. This has helped me in making decisions when situations are not up to par.
  2. I exercised and ate healthy. This gave me lifestyle positivity. Three times a day I fed myself positive thoughts through nutrition.
  3. I was fortunate (and still am) to have a very tight relationship with my ultimate concierge. No secrets in our marriage, so I was able to unburden my red stress.
  4. I started writing in a journal and HoneyGood.com was born, a 100% very green stress. I had new relevancy and was no longer constantly thinking about the word, cancer.
  5. I reached out to my children, grands, my mom and close girlfriends for help.
  6. My illness changed my outlook on life. I began to do things my way, creating very green stress. When you have suffered a frightening illness your priorities change.
  7. I began wearing my red kabbalah string on my left wrist, closest to my heart to ward off all evil. I still feel like my red string protects me.

My final thought: We will all have to ‘accept’ some serious realities in our lives, whatever the circumstances. Ask yourself, what did you learn or gain?

This will help to turn negative red stress into positive green stress.

Susan “Honey” Good is the founder of HoneyGood.com where this blog originally appeared. The site is a collection of lessons learned, life advice and insights from not only her, but from a fantastic group of contributing writers, each adding their own spice to the recipe. Honey Good.com representing “a family tree of women” — wives, mothers, daughters, granddaughters, mothers-in-law, daughters-in-law, sisters, aunts, cousins and girlfriends — coming together to talk about what makes them tick as well as what they have in common. Honey Good discusses life experiences with wisdom, humor and intellect, enabling all to attain a “Honey Good Style of Life.”