Stress is More Than Everyday Discomfort
Stress and Sleep Deprivation
People are losing sleep as a result of stress. People overeat and experience cravings when they have too little sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to disruption of family life, an elevated rate of auto accidents (as much as a 7 fold increase) occupational accidents, impaired immune function and increased cardiovascular events.
Stress and Eating Habits
Forty-three percent of those surveyed reported overeating in response to stress. We see the cycle continuing ad infinitum: people experience stress, overeat in response, become obese, are at greater risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular issues and orthopedic issues.
Stress and Wound Healing
Wounds heal much more quickly in the absence of stress as shown by Janice Kiecolt-Glaser , Ohio State University School of Medicine, who observed that a pencil eraser size wound took 9 days longer to heal in a group of care givers who were under stress. Consider this as it applies to surgical patients, employees who have been injured or who have diabetes.
The Impact of Stress on Those with Diabetes
The prevalence of diabetes is increasing, partly as a result of obesity. According to the American Diabetes Association, the total annual economic impact of diabetes in 2007 was estimated to be $174 billion. This figure includes medical costs, indirect costs related to increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, disease related unemployment disability, and loss of productive capacity due to early mortality. According to the ADA, 20% of health care dollars is spent caring for someone with diabetes.
The impact of stress on diabetics is well documented. Not only does stress directly impact blood sugar control, but, when stressed, people use unhealthy coping mechanisms such as overeating, smoking and drinking alcohol. Stress also directly impacts the immune system which inhibits healing.
The Impact of Stress on Surgical Patients
Many studies have shown the value of using a Guided Imagery CD such as "Preparing For Surgery" before any surgical procedure. The most dramatic study was done by Blue Shield of California. A group of 941 women having surgery was given a CD at a cost of $17 per patient. The use of this CD resulted in a an average saving of $2,000 per patient as a result of shorter in patient stays, less pain and fewer complications. The use of my CD has resulted in similar savings on an individual basis.
Stress is rampant in the workplace.
Stress is said to be responsible for up to 90% of illnesses and accidents, and has a significant impact on healing.
The Gallup Organization Well Being Index polls at least 1,000 adults daily. Here are some of their findings:
- Almost 40% of those polled said they were stressed the day before.
- 66% reported at least one chronic health problem
- 28% claimed they were not well rested.
- 66% of working adults are overweight or obese
- Only 47.7% report well being at work
Based on responders' answers, the impact of negative work environment alone results in 12.3 million sick days a month nationwide amounting to about $14 billion a year in wages.
In addition to these statistics, The American Psychological Association published a study of 1848 adults. Their findings include the following:
- 77% experienced physical symptoms of stress during the last month
- 73% experienced psychological stress during the last month
- 74% find work a significant source of stress
- 48% of adults lay awake at night because of stress
- 43% overeat or eat unhealthy foods because of stress
- 55% reported varying degrees of lost productivity while at work during the past month
- Only 7% have sought professional support during the past year