Dealing with Cultural Stress--Our Greatest Health Risk

Stress has become our #1 health risk. The stress of modern living—which includes everything from commuter traffic to the 24-hour-news cycle—can lead to hypertension, sleeplessness, anxiety, and the flipping of epigenetic switches for a host of diseases, from diabetes to heart disease, asthma to Alzheimer’s.

So what can we do about it?

In this podcast with Healing Quest hosts Judy Brooks and Roy Walkenhorst, I talk about Cultural Stress Anxiety Syndrome and some of the many steps we can take to protect ourselves from its relentless pressure.

Here are just a few pointers:

  • Make yourself the most important person in your life. After all, without “me” there is no “we.” (You can’t take care of anyone else if you’re a nervous wreck.)
  • Follow your inner toddler. She’s the one who is willing to take risks to grow and have new experiences; who colors outside the lines and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks; who plays and laughs (and cries) and is free to express whatever she is feeling.
  • Don’t worry about adopting someone else’s stress-reduction strategy. If yoga isn’t your thing, try something that is. It could be line dancing, or kickboxing, or walks on the beach at sunset. What’s important is that it makes YOU happy. (Remember, you’re the most important person in your life.)
  • Take care of your physical health, which means eating a diet of healthy, nutrient-rich foods, “eating your water” to stay hydrated, and getting enough exercise and sleep.


  • Be imperfect; live longer! Perfection is an illusion. Don’t berate yourself for being human! Life is not an Instagram post; it’s a real-life undertaking with highs and lows; triumphs and setbacks. Most important, your life is uniquely yours. Don’t spoil it by comparing your life to some fictional ideal. It’s not only okay to be imperfect; you’ll live longer!

For more about the effects of Cultural Stress and how to kick it, click on the link to listen to the podcast:


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