TRAGEDY ON TOP OF TRAGEDY
This week we said good bye to a woman and wife of incredible courage, Dana, who gave up her entertainment career to help her husband, Christopher, paralyzed for 10 years.
Dana died of lung cancer at the age of 44.
"Dana will always be remembered for her passion, strength and ceaseless courage that became her hallmark," according to Kathy Lewis, president of the Christopher Reeve foundation, in a statement posted on its website. "Along with her husband Christopher, she faced adversity with grace and determination, bringing hope to millions around the world."
Christopher died in 2004, and Dana followed close behind. Our prayers are with the children and family.
All too often we see this happen when someone experiences a tragedy or a succession of difficult life events which compound the stress. I fact, the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale was developed some years ago with this in mind. Death of a spouse was rated 100 points, and other events included divorce, death of family member, loss of job and so forth.
Amazingly outdated for 2006, it remains a classic. If you added up the relative stress values of the different major life events (both "good" and "bad") -- known as "Life Change Units (LCUs)" -- a score of 250 or more is considered high. However, for someone less resilient, 150 would be overwhelming.
What's important is that the test was developed to test disease susceptibility.
With a score of 150 or less, you have a 37% chance of becoming seriously ill. With a score between 150-300, it jumps to 51%. Over 300, there's an 80% chance of serious illness in the next two years.
Why do I say outdated? Take a look. One item, "working more than 40 hours a week" -- isn't this commonplace now? Not that it isn't stressful ... It also doesn't list death of an adolescent child, considered by some psychologists to be the biggest stressor of all, or terrorism, blending families, or bankruptcy.
What does remain is that stress and emotions effect our immune system, which is our health.** As a coach, I work with people continually to addres theconnection. Studying emotional intelligence and developing your EQ helps. Taking an immune system supplement, like Arbonne's DefenseBuilder, working to keep your social support network strong, massage, meditation, prayer, and practicing the competencies of emotional intelligence are some of the things you can do when faced with a tragedy or accumulation of stressors.
Just being able to call your coach can be comfort and support, and your coach can help in other areas, and give you health options.
As the stressors build up -- marriage, divorce, a new baby, a new job, losing your job, moving in with your in-laws, sending a child off to college -- consider taking the EQ Alive! Program and getting some coaching. Part of WELLNESS is preparing ahead. Preventive medicine. Adversity strikes. Bad things happen to good people. Do what you can to bolster your resilience, and resilience is an EQ comptency.
To take the EQ Alive course (on the Internet), mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org .
** 5 minutes of anger suppresses your immune system for up to 6 hours.
Donations can be made in memory of Dana to the Christopher Reeve Foundation, 636 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills, New Jersey 07078 or online at www.ChristopherReeve.org.
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