Many actions occur when the stress response is thrust into action. The lungs work overtime, the heart kicks into overdrive, stress hormones are released, and all non-critical body functions stop. Body functions such as immune system regulation, cell production, and cell regeneration are put on stand by. The body is on high alert, ready to escape the stressor that it is presented with. These functions are extremely useful for their intended purpose. Unfortunately their intended purpose is to survive in the wild. We rarely use stress in this setting and because of that a lot of issues arise.
The effects of stress
All of these actions happen when we are presented with everyday stress. When we are stuck in traffic or have a high workload this stress response occurs, along with its repercussions. Our immune system is weakened, our heart and lungs have unnecessary stress put on them, our mind shuts down. This can lead to a lot of problems short term. Long term chronic stress has disastrous consequences. Chronic stress gives us high blood pressure, arteries clog with plaque, the cardiovascular system becomes weak, the immune system is compromised, we develop a poor memory. Brain cells are destroyed and the communication between them is lowered. The damage done is both physical and mental. We not only suffer the pain of stress but we are bogged down by its consequences.
Take steps towards stress management
The stress response is in its nature a physical one. This physical response affects us emotionally, physically, and mentally. It is corrosive and is only meant for short duration in emergency situations. Our social constructs and modern environment triggers this stress response far to often. We are creatures of nature living in an unnatural world. We however don’t have to be slaves to this stress response. We can take many steps to avoid this stress and we can take just as many to conquer the response to it.
There will always be stress but it shouldn’t consume our lives. It shouldn’t be a daily occurrence and it definitely doesn’t need to adversely affect our health. Stress isn’t there to control you, you are there to control it. With the proper stress management strategies, with mindfulness based stress reduction, and with building new habits we can take the higher road and overcome the debilitating affects of stress. We can restore our emotional, mental, and physical health. Please read on to discover these methods and take back your life!