To enjoy long healthy lives we must avoid stress.
But we must watch for skin cancer. Or breast cancer. Or cervical/testicular cancer, menopausal traumas or prostate problems? Headaches, chest pains or pins and needles might not be hangover, indigestion or lying in an awkward position. They could be strokes, heart attacks or hardened arteries.
Then there is diet. No red meat or dairy products. Beware of BSE, CJD, or allergic reactions to nuts and additives. Organic or not organic? Does genetically modified matter? Are the producers exploiting poverty stricken Third-worlders? Beware pesticides, herbicides, air pollution and superbugs.
No comfort eating. Most of the western world is now obese – except for people with anorexia nervosa or bulimia and are so underweight that there lives are at risk. Possibly caused by being bombarded with health warnings trying to persuade us that munching a carrot is far more fun than a packet of crisps or a bar of chocolate. The rest of the world is starving. Now that really is something to be stressed about.
Watching TV is depressing. Go for a nice healthy walk – in the evening to avoid cancer-causing UV, after the rain has dispersed asthma-inducing pollen, and avoid traffic pollution. Don’t get mugged or worse. Wear something bright so motorists won’t accidentally run over you. Jogging is good for you. (Viewing your puce, sweating, overweight partner might make you dispute that.)
Try squash or aerobics. Only allow for time spent in A & E when you sprain your ankle, break a limb, or have a heart attack!
Cycling to work will do wonders for your heart although the exhaust fumes from cars queuing in traffic jams will turn your lungs to leather. Don’t worry in case your bike is stolen or vandalised. Worry is bad for you. If the worst happens you can use your credit card to get enough cash to settle the national debt to pay for the train fare back home. (That is if the train goes anywhere near your neck of the woods, stops at the nearest station and doesn’t just go whistling through.) It will be probably be delayed by the wrong sort of snow, leaves on the track or cracks in the rails, or not be running at all due to Unforeseen Circumstances.
The weather is worrying. Global warming, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes – wettest, driest, hottest, coldest, most unseasonable - and that’s just in this country. Acres of parched farmland or endless expanses of flood water are daily news. Earthquakes are common. We have more typhoons here than anywhere else. Most are insignificant. But they could get bigger, couldn’t they?
You could go on holiday; civil war, revolution, thugs, hi-jackers, muggers, earthquakes permitting. Although holidays have high stress ratings.
I’ll try some St. John’s Wort - after I’ve checked the medication I’m on won’t make that dangerous. I might listen to the radio or watch TV news about terrorists, war, foot and mouth, swine fever, legionnaires disease, asteroids on a collision course with earth, ---.
And they tell me to avoid stress because it’s a killer.
© Copyright Percydale Press 2006