Published in El Pais, 4 September 2021.
Our daily activities are full of stress, and we know that stress is bad for our health. How can prolonged stress affect our health? Stress is the brain and body’s way of responding to any demands that can alter the immune, digestive, cardiovascular, sleep, and reproductive systems. Over time, diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses including mental disorders such as depression or anxiety can develop.
The most rational thing is to avoid stress, but if we observe a whole day in our life, we are the causes and or the recipients of stress. Finding a parking lot on the street that just recently forbids parking without creating any nearby public parking spaces. Try to cross the street in red when the cars are not really required to respect their red light. Expect someone to honor a contract when you’ve already paid, and the legal system has easier ways to fix this. Doing paperwork in a public institution without having “problems or new requirements” for you to give a monetary bonus or to beg the staff that they make you feel miserable by not performing their obligations. Try to respect the rules of coexistence in a building. Let’s try to respect the written and unwritten rules to make our daily life and the lives of others, a peaceful life. Many suffer it on a daily basis and exert stress on others without realizing it. This must change!
Stress reduces the level of health, and a low level of health reduces the productivity of people. It is needless to say that low productivity reduces the profit of the country’s economy, and this keeps us in a “developing country” with people sick from stress. To improve our health and the health of society, it is important to develop procedures in the organizational system that consider good care for citizens, clients, patients, etc. The use of technology helps, but also a better humane treatment with rules not always written. Stress as a key aspect is vital to improve this attention that often goes unnoticed. This aspect can also be part of the organizational responsibility or also as an organization of responsible processes.
Do we want to improve health? You can start with the little things from day to day and without having to weigh who has the most power to unnecessarily stress the other. Our role as individuals or as an organization (company) counts a lot in the health of others. Let’s be responsible.