Stress was almost unheard of 40 years ago for Eugene, Oregon so take a look back before stress was a health condition causing a major disease.
Back then people worked a job, had family responsibilities that took time and patience, so why did the symptoms of stress take over, yet more importantly did individuals invite chronic stress?
The definition of stress has many meanings, however the most applicable ones for this discussion are these:
1. A mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health, usually characterized by increased heart rate, rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability and depression.
2. A stimulus or circumstance causing such a condition.
3. An applied force or system of forces that tends to strain or deform a body.
Mornings for a family 30 years ago consisted of quick nourishing breakfast followed by the father and mother going separate directions to their work places. Grade school children walked 1/4 mile to the corner to catch a school bus with completed homework in backpacks without cell phones.
Parents left contact phone information with school officials to relieve pressure in the event of emergencies.
According to their ages, children had a job of setting the table or other chores prior to the meal being served. After work and school the family converged for dinner time which was family unity grouping with mother, father, children and perhaps some extra guests. Mealtime conversation permitted a healthful release of the effects of stress for everyone.
Backing up a bit, Eugenites did not discuss what was for dinner nor was a decision required “where shall we eat tonight”? Encouraging a suitable foundation for children’s health and well being, they were given a day of the week to cook their meal for everyone. Rewards were given for their accomplisments, proper nutrition fought disease and the offspring learned how to cook.
TV remained in the living room, out of view from the dining room table until everyone finished eating. When dinner was eaten and table cleared, stress levels were practically non existent with the intimate togetherness of a family.
There was no such thing as treatment for stress since it was not present to require it. Sharing job and school events kept the effects of stress out of individuals’ lives, with brainstorming before the symptoms reared their ugly head to do health damage.