Stress can have a huge impact on your health and wellbeing. Are you feeling overwhelmed, worrying about the future, and not being effective in what you are doing? Read on.
Stress is defined as any environmental conditions that require behavioural adjustment. Stress is inevitable, and a normal part of life.
A little stress is good for you, it helps performance. Once stress increases to a level, fatigue sets in, then exhaustion, Illness and breakdown. Too little stress and you get bored.
Stress provides feedback. Stress is a physical expression of our “Fight or Flight” survival mechanism. A perceived threat will trigger a stress response in our body, which prepares us to confront or flee a potential danger. This helps for immediate danger, but unfortunately the stress response is also triggered by tense situations where physical action is not an option.
In today’s fast paced life, we are continually receiving signals that trigger our stress response.
Potential stress triggers include relationship breakdowns, financial problems, health concerns, caring for a newborn baby, traumatic events.
The stress response triggers changes in your body:
- Blood sugar levels rise
- Additional red blood cells are released to carry extra oxygen
- Peripheral blood vessels constrict
- Heart rate increases
- Blood pressure rises
- Digestion slows down and stops
Stress causes chemical changes in the body that can have negative effects on both mental and physical health if the stress response continues. Chronis stress occurs when the stress response keeps the body on alert continuously.
Stress can be reduced by a number of methods:
- Eliminating the trigger.
- Exercising - including yoga, tai chi, qi gong, walking, running, and swimming.
- Getting professional support such as your GP, a counsellor, or therapist.
- Eliciting the Relaxation Response can reverse the Stress Response. The Relaxation Response can be elicited through meditation.
If you would like to learn how to reduce and manage stress, join my meditation group, or come along to one of my workshops.