Just as I tuned in, Dr. Oz began talking about stress and its affect on the length of one's life. He explained that there were different types of stress and that some types of stress are actually good for us and help us to be productive members of society. The good stress "helps us meet deadlines and run away from lions." It is the good stress in our lives that helps us hustle to meet deadlines and get pumped up to accomplish the necessary stuff of life.
The good doctor continued saying that "what we usually think of as stress--the daily hassles like deadlines and getting the kids out the door--do not age our brain." That was a bit surprising to me as getting the kids out the door and loaded into the car certainly feels as if it is aging my brain and all of my other parts as well!
It turns out that the dangerous stress in our lives doesn't come from the self-imposed stressors like overwhelming piles of laundry or figuring out what to serve for dinner as the clock ticks 4pm. Those sort of events aren't harmful to us because they are solvable. No matter how stressful the "What's for dinner?" question is at 4 o'clock, odds are that the question will have been answered by 7 o'clock and therefore, the stress is alleviated.
The dangerous stressors in our lives turn out to be THE MAJORS like moving, financial crisis, or a death in the family. The other illness-inducing stressors in all of our lives are the minor things, the things Dr. Oz refers to as the NUTS or Nagging Unfinished Tasks. "...the nagging stress of sitting on a wobbly toilet seat and never fixing it will age you, if it is one of those things that just gnaws at you every time you use it."
My Man and I have come to refer to these NUTS as "Life Shorteners." Every now and then one or the other of us will enter a room and announce, "I've just conquered a Life Shortener!" We have discovered the energy giving feeling of a nagging job accomplished and we understand how those tiny gnat-like irritations in our days sap our good mood, our sunny outlook, and our much needed energy.
My best conquering-of-a-Life-Shortener happened two months ago when I was finally able to return a book that we had borrowed over two years ago from a fellow homeschooling family. That small paperback book rode around in the back of our van forever, constantly reminding me of my failure to be organized, of my failure to be a responsible borrower, of my failure to actually read the book, and my failure to teach the material there in to my students.
When I finally drove to their home (a mere three minutes from mine) and returned that little green book, I was so excited and hyper that the receiving party must've thought I was half nuts. The family from whom that book was borrowed had, of course by that time, forgotten all about it.
We've also discovered that knocking those Life Shorteners off our list is addictive. In need of an energy boost today, I decided to conquer:
- notifying the school system that The Wright Academy would once more be in business with an additional student in attendance, a job that has been staring me in the face for over 4 weeks,
- sending an email that was three weeks overdue,
- scheduling the state inspection for our car that must be completed in a few days which I've known was going to be needing attention for a few weeks now,
- arranging for a medical appointment that must be taken care of before August,
- filling out paperwork that is due tomorrow,
- AND changing three light bulbs that have been burnt out since early May!
"The reward of a thing done well is having done it." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Quotes in this blog post come from YOU: The Owner's Manual: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger by Mehmet C. Oz, M.D. and Michael F. Roizen, M.D.
(I scored a 2 out of 8, it paid off changing those burnt out light bulbs!!)