I lead a pretty stressful life — I like to work, I like to work hard, and I like to be involved in a lot of activities — coupled with a high sense of responsibility and accomplishment — yup, I have a lot of stress.
So imagine my “stress” when I read this article in the NY Times,
Inheriting Stress, which explores the question: Can children inherit stress from their mother? My initial thought, “YIKES!”
WE intuitively understand, and scientific studies confirm, that if a woman experiences stress during her pregnancy, it can affect the health of her baby. But what about stress that a woman experiences before getting pregnant — perhaps long before?
It may seem unlikely that the effects of such stress could be directly transmitted to the child. After all, stress experienced before pregnancy is not part of a mother’s DNA, nor does it overlap with the nine months of fetal development.
Nonetheless, it is undeniable that stress experienced during a person’s lifetime is often correlated with stress-related problems in that person’s offspring — and even in the offspring’s offspring. Perhaps the best-studied example is that of the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. Research shows that survivors’ children have greater-than-average chances of having stress-related psychiatric illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder, even without being exposed to higher levels of stress in their own lives. — excerpt from article http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/opinion/sunday/can-children-inherit-stress.html?smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0
Okay, okay, okay. So I don’t have any kind of post-traumatic stress, but the piece goes on to explore if the stress has an impact on parenting style?
I’m always concerned about the amount of stress in my life– barring the impact to my future children, I know that its not very helpful to me, but the thought of my stress potentially having this kind of ripple effect, takes stress management to a whole… ‘nother.. level.
I met with a friend last week and she swears by yoga and feels that it has made positive changes to her life and her sense of stress. I’ve always viewed it as just a means of exercise, but she urged me to get into the meditative pieces of it as well (maybe Bikram is out?), but silly as it may sound, I have a new found motivation.
Even if there is no link — we all know the benefits of a life with less stress.
The battle goes on… how to “relax, relate, release” … but still maintain my “intense” and competitive edge with my career. Could meditating be the answer?
Do you have employees who have this truly mastered, or is just as elusive as a purple cow?
Still searching… 🙂
Photo credit: Olimpia Zagnoli