This is a test . . . Please stop what you're doing and take this test. It won't take long.

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119
http://actvra.in/fj4

This is a test.  It's only a test.  If it were an actual event your arms would be burning and you would have a headache right now.  Here's the test.  Take two cans of soup, and stand with your arms extended straight out shoulder height with one can of soup in each hand.  OK, got it.  I'll wait while you do the test.  Go ahead.  No really, give it a try. 

How long were you able to stand with your arms fully extended with a can of soup in each hand?  A typical can of soup weighs around 10 3/4 ozs.  Less than a pound.  How long could you do it?  Most people are not going to be able to do it very long.  Even though the weight is insignificant, over time it becomes heavier and heavier until your muscles collapse under the pressure of a 10 3/4 oz can of soup.


Now, let's translate that into stress.  How much stress can you carry on a daily basis before you collapse?  Your level might seem insignificant to you, but you might be surprised.  I don't think my life is overly stressful, but a decade ago I got a real wake-up call about stress.

I got up at my normal 5:00 am time and went to the gym to teach a Spinning® class.  We had our typical workout.  It's always somewhere between moderate to hard if you're working out with me.  I do my lighter workouts when I exercise alone.  I came home and took a shower, ate breakfast, read the paper and lost my memory. 

I didn't realize anything was unusual until my wife asked a question that I couldn't answer.  "Who was in your cycling class this morning?"  "Did I teach a cycling class this morning?"  She looked at me like I was nuts.  I've seen that look before.  So she asked another question, and I didn't know the answer.  She asked if I was kidding her.  I guess it's like a gentleman who was about to have brain surgery.  His doctor called his wife in for a consultation prior to the surgery on her husband and said, "There is a chance that he may have brain damage."  To which she responded, "How would we know?"

My wife thought I was kidding.  Finally, she realized that I didn't know a lot of events that had happened in the previous 6 months.   I was taken to the hospital and found that I had transient global amnesia. 

What caused it?  The cause was labeled as stress.  I didn't feel like I was under stress, but an outsider looking in would have thought I was under a great amount of stress.  I had gotten so accustomed to holding my cans of soup straight out that I didn't even notice they were getting heavy, but my body and my brain did. 


How long can you hold the two cans of soup before your body gives in and demands that you drop them?  My experience led to more time off, less work on the weekends, shorter more realistic days,
more exercise, better diet and more leisure activities.  I haven't had a brain dump since then, but it was a great eye-opener for me and my family.  How long can you hold your cans of soup?

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Rob Kittle 07/21/2011 11:44 AM
  2. David Shamansky 07/21/2011 01:59 PM
Topic:
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Ambassador
2,503,492
Anna Banana Kruchten,CRS,CRB,GRI
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Wow Mike that sounds very scary.  Glad you wrote about this so we all can learn from it - and at least recoginise it if it occurs.Better to drop the soup cans before it gets so far.  Glad it turned out good for you!

Jul 21, 2011 01:36 PM #54
Rainmaker
321,572
Ann Nguyen
Dickson Realty - Truckee, CA
Lake Tahoe Truckee Homes For Sale

Mike...this is so true with most Realtors. We do carry a lot of stress around since we are doing more and more. Technology now demands that we have to respond back to clients immediately and participate in social media...all take a big chunk of your time. Recognizing this and try to balance everything is the main key to physical & mental health. Now if someone has a great answer...please let me know :-)

Jul 21, 2011 01:43 PM #55
Rainer
201,268
Debbe Perry
Real Living Carolina Property - Morganton, NC
828.439.3084 Morganton/Lake James NC

What a powerful reminder of what stress can do! We live in very stressful times - just watch the news if you don't believe it!

Thanks for the great post!

Jul 21, 2011 01:47 PM #56
Rainmaker
1,248,322
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Thanks, Anna.  It's amazing how much stress we get accustomed to carrying before it gets too heavy.  Thanks for the comments!!

You bet, Ann.  It can be all consumng some times.  Thanks for dropping by!!

Jul 21, 2011 01:48 PM #57
Rainmaker
587,865
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

That is scary.  I wonder if you might have had a mini-stroke (a transient ischemic attack or TIA).  Stress can make one of those more likely, and unless you get your stress under control, I have been told that you may be in line for a full stroke.  Take care of yourself!

Jul 21, 2011 01:48 PM #58
Rainmaker
1,248,322
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

That's for sure, Debbe.  Thanks for commenting!!

Jul 21, 2011 01:49 PM #59
Rainmaker
1,248,322
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

I had a relative just have that experience.  They originally called it a mini-stroke.  Later they said they thought it might transient global amnesia.  I think the bottom like is they really don't know.  Thanks for dropping in!!

Jul 21, 2011 01:51 PM #60
Rainmaker
523,985
Jeanne & Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Brokers
The Durango Home Team - Durango, CO
Selling Durango CO homes to good people like you!

Funny how it takes a wake up call like the one you had to make you aware.  And in turn you make us aware.  Thanks for sharing!  Slow down a little and take care.

Jul 21, 2011 01:56 PM #61
Rainer
156,735
Shirley Soforic
F. C.Tucker co. - New Palestine, IN

stress is my middle name.  so e by choice' some by circumstances.  More time off would be great.  just do not know how to get to that place

Jul 21, 2011 02:00 PM #62
Rainmaker
673,053
Jill Sackler
Broker Associate, Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. "Said and Done!" - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Suggested. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I suffered from adrenal exhaustion for many years due to stress - very deadly. When my daughter gets stressed, her hair starts falling out. We have to be careful and strive for balance.

Jul 21, 2011 02:12 PM #63
Rainmaker
1,248,322
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Thanks, J & R.  I still keep a pretty intense schedule, but I do have a better sense when enough is enough.  Thanks for commenting!!

Shirley, that is a very strange middle name, but I do understand.  There are many ways to reduce stress without taking a lot of time off, but any way you can find to reduce stress is a plus.  Thanks so much for dropping by!!

Thanks, Jill.  I wonder if that's what happened to my hair.  8-)  I trust you're doing OK today?  Thanks for commenting!

Jul 21, 2011 02:49 PM #64
Rainmaker
50,748
Jonathan Dalton
Realty ONE Group - Glendale, AZ

Wow, Mike ... hope you're feeling better.

A couple of years back I finally gave in for some medication to help with stress. When I walked into a Chipotle, saw a long line and went into a full-blown panic attack, unable to decide whether to stay or walk out the door (and kinda moving one step forward, one step back for a minute), I realized the time had come.

There are outright senior moments, more I think since I had heart valve repair surgery a year ago, but there also are moments when sudden stress causes me to forget very, very short-term items.

Thanks for the post.

Jul 21, 2011 03:28 PM #65
Rainmaker
1,248,322
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Jonathan, glad to hear you're treating your stress.  It can be a real challenge at times.  When I lost my memory, it was all short-term memory items.  I could remember all the important dates, people and events of the family.  But, the things that had happened for six months or so were gone.  My wife filled in the blanks over time, but it was stunning.  Thanks for stopping by!!

Jul 21, 2011 03:37 PM #66
Rainer
139,382
Jeanne M. Gavish
Jeanne Gavish, Keller Williams Realty Elite Partners - Spring Hill, FL
Keller Williams Realty Elite Partners - CIPS,GRI,S

Great analogy and wake up call.  My husband of 22 years passed away 2 years ago this month at the age of 52.  Heart Attack.  About 10 of the brokers who were "power players" 10 years ago in my market are dead, and none were over 60.  You have the great advantage of health consciousness.  Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Jul 21, 2011 03:44 PM #67
Rainmaker
2,193,704
Rebecca Gaujot
Perry Wellington Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Mike, suggested this post as well. Most people are under a lot of stress and just don't realize it. I am so glad you are okay.

Jul 21, 2011 03:59 PM #68
Rainmaker
1,707,406
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Thanks for the awareness message, something to really consider.

Need someone to hold those can for you Mike?

Jul 21, 2011 08:01 PM #69
Rainmaker
1,248,322
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Jeanne, I am so sorry to hear about your husband.  What a terribly young age to pass.  Thanks for sharing!

Thanks, Rebecca.  It was a great wake-up call.

Tom, I've moved to the pudding snack cans now.  Half as heavy.  8-)  Thanks for dropping by!!

Jul 21, 2011 09:18 PM #70
Rainer
1,756,848
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Mike - Simple solution.  Get more Ram for your mind.  Seriously, you have brought up such an important topic.  Stress will kill you faster than any disease.  The tail starts to wag the dog.  You work so hard to create your business.  Then the monster takes over and stresses you out.  Thank God you have such a perceptive wife.  Good luck.

Jul 21, 2011 11:39 PM #71
Rainer
40,561
Jean Jannopoulo
Love where you live - Sarasota, FL
Coppola Realty Group

It's a bonus I didn't expect when joining ActiveRain -- that it would show me how to forget all about real estste.  I'm going to spend more time in my happy place so I can remember what happy feels like..

Feb 22, 2013 06:39 AM #72
Rainmaker
1,248,322
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

There you go, Jean.  Glad it spurred those thoughts.

Feb 22, 2013 06:55 AM #73
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