The old ways of handling stress are no match for the nonstop and accelerating levels we're up against today, says Paul Huljich, who fought his way back from the edge—and offers a road map for others.
Why do you refer to stress as a pandemic?
No one is able to escape the clutches of stress completely. Look around: The next person and the next person are affected in some way by stress. The World Health Organization states that by the year 2020, lifestyle diseases will be the second-largest cause of death in the world. Stress causes poor lifestyle choices, and poor lifestyle choices cause stress—it is a perpetual cycle, and many of us who struggle with the challenges of life are unable to break it.
How did we get here?
The stress pandemic evolved over time, and accelerated after the invention of the light bulb, when our day became longer and our night became shorter. Due to the increasing pressure that we face on a daily basis—from the waking sound of the alarm clock, to racing against the clock to meet deadlines and commitments locally and internationally—our wellness is jeopardized and we pay a heavy toll. The information age is constantly policing us. We are monitored for performance, and we have become answerable for nearly every moment of our lives. Many of us experience the feeling of being in a state of alertness, feeling threatened or challenged. In fact, the world has become a bit of a bullying place, and we are constantly struggling to find time for ourselves.
Why do we need a new approach to combating stress?
Most of us do not have an understanding of the unique characteristics of stress, the stress response, or the neurochemistry that is affected by stress and making poor lifestyle choices. We are not empowering ourselves to combat the stress we are being challenged with. Most of the old, established approaches have not been effective enough for the level of stress people are challenged with today. Prevention should be the key. It is important to not allow the symptoms of stress to develop, and if they do, to prevent them from developing into more serious emotional and physical conditions that jeopardize our wellness and happiness.
Was there a personal component that led to your interest in this subject?
I had a life crisis. I was unable to break the cycle of stress and my symptoms developed to such a serious level that I experienced a full mental breakdown, losing a lifetime of hard work and my treasured freedom. I had a very capable support team to help me avert such a tragedy, but they could not stop me from becoming a runaway train. The prognosis was medication for the rest of my life—a life sentence in a chemical straightjacket. And I was told by the doctors that I would certainly experience relapses in the future, which terrified me. I felt like a time bomb, not knowing when I would go off.
How did you react to those predictions?
I decided to fight back. I had gone beyond the edge, but I wanted to come back better and stronger, and be able to withstand any stress that came my way. I scoured the earth to find out why this happened to me, and how was I going to beat it, even though I was categorically told that there was no cure for the condition I had developed. I have now been completely drug-free for over 14 years. This is a positive survival story of how I conquered stress and my pain, and ultimately regained my freedom, through the nine natural steps I adopted to cure myself.
What led you to write this book?
I made a promise to myself: If I survived, I would make it my life mission to alert others that stress prevention is far better than recovery. I want to warn people of the dangers of stress—raise awareness that unchecked stresses have very real consequences—and give people the hope to fight back, break the cycle, and thrive. I wrote Stress Pandemic for the growing number of people wishing to free themselves of mild, moderate, or severe stress and prevent ongoing pain and its consequences.
Who would most benefit by reading this book?
Stress Pandemic is a road map that will help anyone of any age who has stress-induced pain, symptoms, or conditions. Anyone who is starting to develop symptoms that are not abating could adopt one or two steps of my LifeReStyle 30-day process at a time. It is extremely versatile and effective for people on the go who have limited time.
What is the most profound thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing this book?
I am just one of many trying to stop this downward spiral. I've discovered a proven solution to break the cycle of stress, to fortify and empower myself, and thrive. I want to share this and yell to the world, “Listen, please!” For the human race to survive, we need to master stress.
About THE AUTHOR SPEAKS: Selected authors, in their own words, reveal the story behind the story. Authors are featured thanks to promotional placement by their publishing houses.
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