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I am working with a new client named Bob. He had a son many years ago and now has a six-year old; they are about 20 years apart. Bob is an established businessman who travels extensively for work. He’s always working, travels to see his children, who are hours away from one other and from him. Other than that, Bob’s entire existence revolves around his very responsible position.

He can barely sit still and his thoughts race. It’s difficult for him to focus in the moment and his is uncomfortable being “disconnected” from his phone calls, text messages and email. Bob is used to this state of constant stress. Our session was weaved into his intricate plan of where he will be at a particular point in time and space.

We have all accepted that stress is a part of life. With the rapid pace of modern living, it feels difficult to keep up with increasing demands. The negative effects of stress are widespread and growing. We may visit doctors seeking solutions to our stress symptoms or we may even self-medicate in dozens of ways in order to keep the ill effects at bay. Chronic stress can impact us emotionally, physically and mentally.

There is a parable of a frog sitting in a pot on the stove. If dropped into a pot of boiling water, a frog would likely notice and try to escape. But when placed in a pot that is slowly approaching a boil, the frog doesn’t notice until the water has already reached an unbearable heat—at which point it is too hot for the frog to survive.

Is it possible to notice the boiling signs earlier and do things to turn down the heat?

Have you ever experienced accepting your stress and increasing demands until it became too much that you could barely deal with it? If so, you’re not alone. About 8.3 million American adults were reported to have experienced serious psychological distress in 2017.

If stress “has become one of the most serious health issues of the 20th century and a worldwide epidemic,” then it is time to start growing the tools of how we handle stress.

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