Atlanta, GA – July 24, 2007
Celebrity stress causes celebrity meltdowns. And celebrity meltdowns are on the rise. They come in the form of alcoholism, angry outbursts, drug addiction, and anorexia. An apology and rehab doesn’t always result in repaired reputations or the elimination of the offending actions. Identifying and removing the root source of the stress, or at least learning how to cope with it in a healthy way, may be just what the doctor ordered.
“You can’t open a paper or change the channel without hearing about the latest celebrity debacle – Lindsay Lohan’s DUI, for example,” said Dr. Kathleen Hall, world-renowned stress expert, founder and CEO of The Stress Institute. “They aren’t bad people they are just under extreme pressure and unable to manage it under constant public scrutiny. Everyone has a breaking point. The key is to be aware of where that point exists for you.”
It is necessary to set personal benchmarks to determine when a meltdown is imminent and to notice when the following, or similar, “trigger” behaviors occur. Feelings and actions like aggressiveness/rage; cursing more; drinking more; paranoia; anxiety; and worry are red flags. Take a “three strikes” approach and once any one of these behaviors happens three times, a meltdown isn’t far off.
The intense pressures of celebrity fame and fortune can be overwhelming to even the strongest personality. They live with outside stressors, including betrayal, paparazzi, critics, competition, stalkers and money mongers. But it’s the inside stressors that can be the most damaging if not dealt with. Examples include perfectionism, self-doubt, low self-esteem, addictive personalities and wanderlust. Add in the special treatment they receive, astronomical incomes, bodyguards/security, lack of privacy, family celebrity (parents, siblings, children) and fear (not being good enough, losing everything), and it’s a recipe for disaster.
The Effects of Stress
“Not everyone reacts the same way to various events and situations. What one person finds joyful and gratifying another might find miserable and frustrating,” Hall continued. “Sometimes, people handle stress in ways that make bad situations worse by reacting with feelings of anger, guilt, fear, hostility, anxiety and moodiness.”
Science shows that stress as well as celebrity stress has many negative effects on our bodies, and eventually our actions. It releases unhealthy levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. If left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological and even physical problems. For example, depression, anorexia/obesity, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, chest pains, elevated cholesterol and an irregular heartbeat. A study conducted by Yale Medical School directly linked the effects of stress on the brain, which resulted in impairment of the short term memory and other functions in the executive decision-making area of the brain, the prefrontal cortex. It’s this impairment that leads to poor life/action choices.
S.E.L.F. Care Program for Celebrity Stress
Dr. Hall developed a proven S.E.L.F. Care program for her clients and patients that achieves calm and lowers stress levels by positively empowering the individual. Anyone fatigued by celebrity stress could benefit from this:
S is for Serenity
Meditation eases pain by reducing the brain’s response to pain. Affirmations reduce stress hormone (cortisol) levels. Listening to music releases a calming chemical (serotonin) into the body. Finally, laughter increases artery diameter by 22% (chronic stress reduces it by 35 %).
E is for Exercise
The World Health Organization says depression will be the second largest single cause of illness in the world by 2020. Exercise can be equal to medication in resolving depression by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. As a direct result, this reduces anxiety, provides more oxygen to the brain and releases endorphins.
L is for Love
People live longer and have less disease with social support. Keep three people on speed dial or log on and IM a close friend for a few minutes. For example reaching out and receiving feedback from trusted friends and family can make the difference during stressful times. Maintaining healthy social connections is paramount to good mental health.
F is for Food
Food is healing. Omega 3’s help with depression, cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and chronic pain. Eat fish 3 times a week or take a one gram fish oil capsule every day. Vitamin B6, found in bananas, turkey, salmon and sweet potatoes, increases the serotonin in your body.
“By following the S.E.L.F. Care program and becoming aware of key indicators that you’re nearing a breaking point. As a result you can gain control of your actions, avoid potential public embarrassment or legal action and lead a less stressful, more controlled life,” concluded Dr. Hall.