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Surprise! Dr Oz agrees with my Grandma!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Not about everything obviously. She would cringe at some of his advice.

I don’t usually watch TV during the day, but on Friday the 16th I found myself watching yet another easy fix for weight loss. I was about to switch channels when the promo appeared for the next topic.

They staged a stressful situation in a supermarket and afterwards measured the heart rate and blood pressure of the customers affected. Not surprisingly, the numbers were extremely elevated.

This isn’t really news to us. We know that stress is detrimental to our health. We have plenty of stress in the modern world. Some is unrelenting – a demanding, unreasonable boss, health concerns in the family, money troubles, traffic gridlock. Extreme reactions like “road rage” and “going postal” have actually made it into our common vocabulary.

In this episode the TV staff had an actor delay a checkout line while he communicated loudly on his cell phone with his wife who was still searching the store for certain items. This went on and on while she would return with one thing after another that he considered unacceptable. The waiting continued.

Afterwards during the TV interview the question was “Did you know the effect it was having on your body?” Although the victims knew how upset and frustrated they were, they were surprised by the actual numbers.

What would you have done?

My Grandma’s advice as I wrote in yesterday’s blog would be – “Don’t stress your heart”
But how exactly would we have accomplished this?

Grandma would probably have waited patiently and used the time to say her prayers.

My Dad would have pushed the offending cart out of the way and moved the line along. He always stood up to bullies. Fortunately, back then you didn’t have to risk that the bully might be armed.

I would have called the manager and threatened to leave my cart of groceries right where it was, if he didn’t fix the situation. There’s a bit of my Dad in me.

According to the experiment, the most dangerous thing for our bodies is just silently to become more and more frustrated.

One stressful situation isn’t likely to have long term effects on our health, but continuing stress will and we must find a healthy way of dealing with it.
Stress is something we all have in common, but the type of stress is very individual as are the solutions. There are many suggestions in the SP articles and blogs and we have to find what works best for each of us. Whatever we decide, let’s just do it.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    As much as I like to think I would take some action like talking to the manager, the truth is I am the non-confrontational, head-in-the-sand type. I could feel my breathing getting shallower and my pulse getting faster as I imagined myself in that line silently fuming. Thanks for the thought-provoking blog. Now I have time to envision the situation with a healthier outcome before it becomes real.
    2573 days ago
  • DEBBY4576
    Interesting. I am working on patience with the snowbirds. Our little town swells to double this time of year. And they are all very elderly. Some are sweet, some are mean, and they all are slow. Some because of meds, some because of dementia, and some treat their entire 4-6 months here as a vacation. O my, I can feel my BP going up just writing this haha. It does no good to get upset and their stubbornness, or slowness, or just plain meanness. I've only been here 13 years, so I'm hoping to get this conquered soon. Another haha.
    2574 days ago
    Oh yeah, shopping can definitely be stressful! And the closer to the holidays the worse it becomes. I have a smartphone with a Kindle reader application on it. I've started downloading books and have learned to read those when I have to stand in line (or any other place where I have to wait). Really helps me stay calmer and pass the time.
    2574 days ago
    I wish I could have your grandmother's calm. I'd probably curse them silently, do some deep breathing, and then ask them to just check out before turning to the store manager. Sometimes people are so oblivious to those around them... of course, we can't consider *everyone* around us before we act, but a good dose of common courtesy would certainly grease the squeaky wheels of society!
    2574 days ago
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    2574 days ago
    Was it a small store with only one register open? I probably would stand there calmly, but if the line got too long, I'd ask the manager to open another register so they could have repeat customers because I'd know half of the people having a bad experience wouldn't come back. There's a reason I don't shop at JoAnn's too often.

    I'm pretty calm about waiting and frequently let people with fewer items go ahead of me.
    2574 days ago
    I'm with you and would have called the manager. That's what they are for. I heard long ago to give problems to their owners and walk away. Some problems are God's, some are mine, and some are the store manager's. If he doesn't promptly rectify the situation, you can choose to take your custom elsewhere.
    2574 days ago
    Yes, we need to confront many of life's roadblocks head on to reduce the stress. Avoiding confrontation may seem easier, but it can certainly be hard on the body!
    2574 days ago
    How very timely, too! The holidays shouldn't be yet another source of stress, but they are. I always try to make Thanksgiving dinner as easy on us as possible, but Bill thrives on complexity. This difference between us reached its pinnacle one Thanksgiving when he thought it would be fun to cater a Thanksgiving dinner for 30 people whom we didn't know. I'm so grateful whenever Thanksgiving is easier than that, which is every time!

    I know when I'm stressed by work situations, and my solution isn't so great. I fume and fuss, and Bill gets all stressed as a result. I think I'll try deep breathing next time.
    2574 days ago
    Great point..the silent stress around us is unhealthy..even in such an innocuous place such as a supermarket. There are inconsiderate people everywhere..even in my gym.

    I do think exercise helps us keep that stress level down!

    This was good to reflect on especially as the holidays are getting near and stress levels go up!

    2574 days ago
    I would have asked the cashier that while she was waiting, would she mind asking the manager to open another register.
    Had my DW been with me, she would have told me to settle down and go wait in the car.

    2574 days ago
  • DAWN14163
    "The most dangerous thing for our bodies is to silently become more and more frustrated".....Oh dear. I know I would find it way too stressful to confront the situation, although I would probably abandon my cart and walk away which I guess is a sort of solution. I think I'd have liked your Grandma!
    2574 days ago
    Very good. Dealing with inconsiderate people like that can be stressful.
    2574 days ago
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