In the nineteenth century, L. M. Willis, the wife of an American doctor, accurately described the usual passage of the anxious through life in the hymn 'Father hear the prayer we offer'. It is certain that those with excessive anxiety will never feel that they are forever in green pastures. As the hymn warns, they will have to persevere along steep and rugged pathways, and they will feel every stone along the way.
Unfortunately, it is those very patients who are genetically destined, or possibly have been conditioned by early life to be hypersensitive and easily upset by its changes and chances who have to follow a difficult road through life. They will find it almost impossible to tread rejoicingly.
If you answer 'yes' to the following questions, it may indicate that your personal stress has reached a level which results in physical symptoms.
1. Does your heart race without due cause?
2. Do you have palpitations? Are you conscious of your heartbeat?
3. When you put your head on the pillow do you hear your arteries beating?
4. Do you flush and blush more readily than usual?
5. Do you feel that you are sweating too readily?
6. Are you conscious of sweat trickling down your back?
7. Are your palms sweaty? Do you worry about having to shake hands with a stranger?
8. Do your feet sweat unusually? Do you make excuses so that you don't have to take your shoes and socks off in front of strangers?
9. Are you aware that you are sweating more under your arms than other people?
10. Conversely, are your hands and feet always cold, and is your nose as cold as that of the healthiest Labrador?