11 Reasons To Manage Your Stress

11 Reasons To Manage Your Stress

Most people think of stress as bad but stress is actually both good and bad. Stress can motivate us to study for an exam or pay our bills on time, it can protect us we buy alarm systems for our homes, businesses or cars, and it can feed us since we go to work to put food on the table.

However, too much stress is really bad for your brain and body, and unfortunately, too much of it can also kill you. In fact, did you know that, according to the National Safety Council, as much as 80% of all disease and illness is initiated and aggravated by stress?

Chronic exposure to high levels of stress hormones has been associated with countless problems that make us unhappy, such as increased appetite, sugar and fat cravings, and abdominal obesity. Additionally, long-term exposure to high levels of stress hormones has been associated with:

  • Low energy
  • Poor concentration
  • Elevated cholesterol levels
  • Heart disease and hypertension
  • Increased risk for strokes
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Reduced immune system function

The problem with stress in our modern-day world is that, for many of us, it never stops – traffic, bills, bosses, employees, unhappy in-laws, too little sleep, illnesses, and too much to do.

So what do you do if you are dealing with too much stress?

Here are just a few of the helpful things you will hear about:

  • Why meditation is not a cure-all for stress
  • Things to consider if you are stressed
  • The importance of letting go of control
  • Who the terrorist in your life really is

Having a regular stress-management program is critical to keeping your brain healthy in the long run.

You really CAN learn to manage your stress and make your brain better, but you need a very specific program to do so.

You have a choice about how you respond to the stress in your life. Amen Clinics has helped tens of thousands of people manage stress and anxiety. If you feel that you or a loved one could benefit from an evaluation, contact Amen Clinics Care Center today or call 888-288-9834.


  1. I like the seriousness and detailed description of stress by Dr Amen. I wonder how someone so intelligent sounding could say that the biggest enemy in someone’s life is you. When in reality, at least in an enlightened persons reality, the brain and the person are separated. Which actually makes a person mostly a victim of their own brain, and the thoughts it generates. If people could realize that, and that their life occurs to them based on this brain, and that their thoughts may not actually be reality, but only one possible view, they can begin to rewrite the stories that create the stress in their lives. And once people realize the reality that life goes better when people join together and appreciate all the different points of view each has, bonds are formed and relationships are made that create a strong buffer against stress.

    Comment by Tom Prosser — April 29, 2016 @ 8:40 AM

  2. That has always been my dilemma….which comes first the chemical imbalance/genetic predisposition or our thoughts which create the chemical imbalance. Also, I think if the medical community and anyone else would enforce the fact that there is NOT a stigma associated with ‘mental illness’, that it is NOT because they are a bad person, that contemplating suicide is NOT a mood/personality defect as such, but a REAL physiological, biological condition, and certainly NOT an EVIL, spiritual obsession/possession, then maybe we could get somewhere. I mean: do we blame or stigmatize or say they are possessed or evil if a person has a fever? Or breaks a leg? Or gets diabetes? A book, MIND OVER MEDICINE, is clearing up a few of those premises, including your last sentence regarding the importance of connection and relationships which are actually being eroded by social media. Some amazing findings by Dr. Lissa Rankin which complements Dr. Amen’s and I have not finished it yet. I think the bottom line is that we have WAY MORE power of thought than we have given ourselves. Hmmm, isn’t there a scripture that goes something like, as a man ‘thinketh’ in his heart so is he? So maybe there really is nothing new under the sun! And we really can’t say the devil made me do it. I don’t think we have to be victims, though I’ve sure thought that I was at times. We can be taught to change our brain and thus change our circumstances. And as we know, a very high percentage of criminals are made because of this lack of knowledge. And lack of SUPPORT from families, schools, churches, medical, and justice systems. Big problems but actually with simple fixes. So sad.

    Comment by shelia in TX — April 29, 2016 @ 9:26 AM

  3. At the end of the day – the terrorist is me, my brain, my ego. Well, well, well – I didn’t expect such a conclusion from a specialist in the area. Don’t even try to control others because you will lose – that was another conclusion. Dr Amen, imagine your 5 year-old kid is standing on the window sill and the window is open – it is the tenth floor apartment and he says: dad, I would like to fly like a bird and I will try. So your conclusion is: don’t even try to control him, because you will lose, it is you, who is a terrorist, so the best you can do is to shut up … and admire his flying experiment. Is it so, Dr Amen?

    Comment by RicardoRichard — April 29, 2016 @ 10:17 AM

  4. What a chemical imbalance are you talking about? Are you still buying such rubbish from doctors that should be stopped from practising Psychiatry? They represent the Medicine on the tether of Big Pharma that is eager to balance your chemicals. Probably the lack of alcohol in your blood needs also balancing. Does it really?

    This Medicine is dying out, unfortunately, very slowly. See Dr Kelly Brogan, you will learn something that is worth learning.

    Comment by RicardoRichard — April 29, 2016 @ 10:33 AM

  5. Chemicals are our own natural seratonin, dopamine, cortisol, testosterone, etc. etc.which in a perfect world with perfect food, soil, and air, along with perfect families would be perfectly balanced by the Power that made us all, whatever you may call that but it wasn’t us humans. You may not can control anything or everything outside of you, but you sure can control a lot more than commonly thought inside of you. Try it sometime. It works. Also, we DO have enormous influence especially on the young and impressionable which is a HUGE responsibility. In the meantime, I will resource Dr. Kelly Brogan, and invite you to continue to support your opinion, which is closer to mine that you think, by checking out the book, Cracked: The Unhappy Truth about Psychiatry by James Davies who doesn’t have a pony in the race, and the very enlightening, The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain by James Fallon, who does have a dog in the show…himself.

    I always figure that whatever is happening in our body for the ill, IS an imbalance…usually a lack of something or an overdose of something else. So when we get the chemicals, vitamins, minerals, hormones, nutrients, hydration, all balanced then we’re snappin’! ‘ause as you know we are run by electrical impulses. It’s all rather simple but very touchy and exacting. So amazing, don’t you think?

    Comment by shelia in TX — April 29, 2016 @ 11:35 AM

  6. I really appreciate all the work and enlightenment that Dr. Amen and his wife have and are doing. Especially the relief and peace they are bringing to people to thrive and not just exist! Amen!

    Comment by shelia in TX — April 29, 2016 @ 11:43 AM

  7. I love how at the end of the video Dr. Amen doesn’t create an artificial separation between the parts of the person. We are the biggest source of fear and anxiety in our lives, terrorizing ourselves daily, our own worst enemies. NOW we can do something about it! We can choose not to be so hard on ourselves. We can become our own best allies with a turn of thought. Moment by moment we can kill ANTs and form new patterns and habits that serve us better. Amazing!!! He recognizes the holistic nature of reality, not separating people into artificial, rigid categories. He ends by telling me I’m the worst terrorist in my life, and that’s very freeing, informative, and actionable. Thinking of myself as two disconnected parts dis-empowers me from action. How can I control (or even communicate with) a separate, distinct, “other” part of myself? Not to mention that it’s nonsense. It’s ILLOGICAL that the ‘brain and the person’ could be separate. I also love when he says, “You cannot control other people.” Amen to that! If I had to rely on bonds and relationships with other people to make my life better, I’d never be happy!! We can only control ourselves. After all, “to control others is to have power, to control yourself is to know the way.” Still such a wise old quote, and very relevant to Dr. Amen’s discussion. Thanks, Dr. Amen!

    Comment by A Claveria — September 16, 2017 @ 10:52 AM

  8. Hm…

    Comment by A Claveria — September 16, 2017 @ 11:16 AM

  9. I am incredibly thankful for Dr Amens great sharing – I live in Australia – and that is a dangerous place to live when you get stressed thru lots of job and place changes because you are traveling around. I unfortunately went to an Australian GP because I was feeling stressed in 2004- 3 years after moving here – I was so used to good Drs in New Zealand as my family and I had needed them for so many things over the years with a genetic Syndrome, and cancer and so I had learnt to trust them. The first Aus Dr I saw was a Dr Kylie Lucas – who doesn’t know anything about doing a proper history check, or the blood or chemicals in it or blood testing – she thinks she has psychic and intuitive powers and can diagnose without any testing or proper questioning- she started me on sertraline and the more I took the worse I got but she said that I needed to be on it for a long time (when I really should have been taken off them) – as Daniel says you make dumb decisions when stressed. After 9 months with still no testing and getting worse she added Lithium – I was unaware of the appalling standards in Australian Medicine that allows GP to give serious drugs like Lithium, tell me it was safe and then go on maternity leave 4 days later. Lithium is a disgusting drug and should not be in the hands of GPs. Once on them it was just a sinking hole to hell and it took me 6 years to become unable to walk and finally get a doctor to help me off them – although she put me on anti -anxiety – they have to prescribe something in this country. Totally disgusting – by the way thruout the 6 years and 7 other Drs as I moved a lot – no one questioned me being on them nor did they question that I had no psychiatrist report nor psychologist help – that is the standard of Medicine in Australia.
    Thru the negligence I lost my career, my income, all my assets and Kylie is still allowed to practice her methods and make plenty of money (in this country its wealth for Drs not health for patients) and I cannot touch her. As I say it is dangerous to get stressed in Australia.
    Reading Daniel’s book and listening to his work on line has been a God send to realizing that I could get better – it has still been a slow recovery – my memory had nearly been destroyed but I have managed to get that back, my prefrontal cortex was hardly functioning and was misfiring and causing overreacting, and very poor control – that has improved amazingly with only a very few problems left.
    So thank you and please keep up the good work Dr Amen

    Comment by Julia Reading — September 18, 2017 @ 6:15 AM

  10. Hello, I am a patient of the Amen Clinic. And I expected to be told add meds to my already pile of meds I take for arthritis, etc….However, Amen does a circle eval that includes mind, body and spirit. It is so impressive. They discovered I have Sleep Apnea which affects my mood and my pain levels, and with other suggestions like giving me an example of a better diet to follow, supplements for where I am deficient that also affects my brain. They are good and thorough. I am not finished completing their recommended checklist of areas that need addressing both medically, emotionally and physically. So slowly, I am feeling,better and understanding why or how I allowed my stress levels to control me. And, no they have not given me prescriptions to solve my issues, only supplements…..and I had a long list of several diagnoses. I lost my 22 year old to suicide 2 years ago, and stress among a few other issues was the case. I wanted her to come to the Amen Clinic, but because of statements like yours, she felt there was,no reason. There is HOPE through the Amen Clinic, since they help you realize what is wrong, SO you can feel better. It is not just talk therapy or medications, but actual true evaluations and recommendations. Yay, Amen Clinic…I am so glad I came to your clinic. But, grieving my child because it is too late for her.

    Comment by Connie Hober — March 19, 2018 @ 5:27 AM

  11. That. Was. Beautiful.

    Comment by Allison — March 19, 2018 @ 6:12 AM

  12. “The Timeless Way of Building” puts it:

    “There is a myth, sometimes widespread, that a person need do only inner work, in order to be alive like this; that a man is entirely responsible for his own problems; and that to cure himself, he need only change himself. This teaching has some value, since it is so easy for a man to imagine that his problems are caused by “others”. But it is a one-sided and mistaken view which also maintains the arrogance of the belief that the individual is self-sufficient, and not dependent in any essential way on his

    We have to get more into a culture of proper dependence instead of this idea that we can be individualists and therefore can discount, the influence of people and things. We are ALL dependent. The idea of the co-dependence has come full circle. Without the old family and cultural support systems, people become stressed out in a different way, a crazier way. It hits one’s identity. If you’re not coming from a place where you have a strong sense of identity, survival stress kicks in when faced with challenges that either do really or seems to rip apart your identity. If there is weak sense of identity, “co-dependent” behavior is just the natural fruit of this problem. You don’t send a 1st grader out to a high school and expect them to be immune to what they see, hear and experience there. If there is not a safe home environment or economically stable place for a person, where there identity is strong and protected, how do they deal properly? They don’t have the money to go to Amen clinic and chances are support in community, church and elsewhere are slim.

    The idea that the more you clean up your side of the street for a stressed person that has no bootstraps left can be extremely hurtful. Calling a traumatized person without a strong identity co-dependent just heightens trauma. This is where REAL dependence on God needs to kick in — and then the miracles can happen.

    Comment by Cara — March 19, 2018 @ 9:41 AM

  13. Right on!! Very Encouraging!!

    Comment by Janet Borges — March 21, 2018 @ 5:36 AM

  14. Hi Shelia, your comment was very interesting to read and very helpful on stress that I have. Can you provide the author on the book Mind over Medicine?

    Thank you,

    Comment by Roberta — February 20, 2019 @ 7:04 AM

  15. I have an extremely stressful life
    My 18 yr old son has severe autism and is now physically bigger than me
    He has no language and we have just sold our family home
    My son was supposed to be starting long term accommodation but we still haven’t got start dates after weeks of negotiation
    We now do not know when or were we going

    Comment by Vanessa Jones — August 26, 2019 @ 4:30 AM

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