News is ubiquitous. We can accept and hang on to the stress or dismiss it.

For the past few months, the daily onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic has occupied prime space in media. It must instill fear and trepidation to qualify as a ‘news’ story. Sometimes, it is news. Sometimes, it is the believed opinion of the news writer. We allow daily stress from news to infect our health.

We see burnings and lootings on film clips. We see people hurt by protesters. We read stories about businesses and cars burning. Again, it is fear-based. What does that do to the viewer or reader?

Our bodies can accept or reject what we see. We can rationalize it or dismiss it. We can recognize what we see for what it is, fear of a person, situation, or event. That fear keeps us coming back for more. We need to know what is happening next.

Fear creates stress in our bodies. Chronic prolonged stress can cause your health to degrade. Your immune system becomes challenged and unable to respond properly. Your risk for any transient disease increases.

I stopped watching television network news in 1987/88. It was a combination of other things occupying my time and my need to know what was happening in the world. I gained access to the Internet a few years later. I wondered why some of the news stories I read about overseas took days to make it to the United States.

I wondered why some of the stories became ‘newsworthy’ and other stories that I considered newsworthy were never reported. I also observed that some news stories were not fully told. Some aspects of an event were left out.

Those ancillary parts of a news story seemed important to me, but a news writer decided they would not see the light of day in the United States. I would notice newsworthy events in my mind that should have been brought to my peers’ attention but did not instill fear and discontent. The stories were ‘good’ natured and uplifting.

Good-natured and uplifting stories do not belong in our news politic. Regardless, I continued to wonder. I was still involved in outside activities that precluded my time from being invested in front of a television set or reading newspaper. It became my comfort zone to exclude ‘news’ from my daily activities.

I was not into stress management and healthy living at that time. I was living in Europe and awaiting retirement orders from the military. I would be returning to the United States and begin my civilian career again. I had still maintained my avoidance of television news and newspapers.

I would see ‘headlines’ on various Internet websites. I would not take the time to read the stories. Yes, on occasion, I would be enamored enough by a headline that I had to read the story. I kept my reading to the first two or three paragraphs.

I did not realize how much stress I was keeping out of my life at that time. As I got involved in health and wellness, my attention to stress management began to grow. One of my job responsibilities was to analyze failures. I used the TapRooT method. I became very adept at determining why a part failed.

I used that same logic and my background in chemistry to delve into the human body and look for why things failed. Chemistry was my first love – before I met my wife. I earned my first college degree in chemistry. However, I got an invitation to Vietnam and was unable to pursue my dream of being a chemist.

I used my knowledge of chemistry and my ability to follow the ‘yellow-brick-road’ of failure to begin researching the cause and effect of aging and disease in our bodies. Nearly every disease starts with chronic low-level cellular inflammation. The risk of disease increases as this inflammation increases from one cell to another over time.

Stress affects our bodies at the cellular level. It disrupts our immune system. Most people do not remove stress regularly. As such, stress accumulates and begins to affect their health. It is one thing to hear or see something and ‘let it go!’. It is another to keep that stress wrapped up inside your body. Wrapped up stress will lead to a preventable disease.

Pent up stress makes a person more susceptible to coronavirus, seasonal influenza, the common cold, and many more unpleasant health issues. Over time, the risk for cardiovascular problems, diabetes, stroke, and more increase.
It all might have started from watching a news report. The next day you read more about it or saw an update on television. Your brain becomes hard-wired to have a daily dose of ‘news’. Your comfort zone increases so that you must stay up for the late news on television before you go to bed.

You must change an unhealthy habit if you want to start reducing the risk of future health issues. Start incrementally by giving up some aspects of your personal news cycle. It might be giving up newspaper reading of stories linked with fear. It might be giving up television news for a week.

It will take an incremental approach to be successful. Few of us can go ‘cold turkey’ on something that has been part of our lives for decades. Understanding what it can do to you is key. If there is no ‘fear’ for your health, there is no option to change.

Seriously consider doing something today to begin your personal journey to reducing future health problems!

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –


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