Is Stress the Missing Link to a Healthier You?

“Stress is an inescapable part of life…it is how you manage it that counts”

~Hans Seley

While stress, the biological reaction, may be inescapable,  the syndrome of chronic stress is not.

Stress  is the “Lack” Syndrome. A lack of focus, lack of discipline, lack of organization, lack of planning, lack of execution, lack of time management, or lack of leadership can manifest in a byproduct called stress syndrome. The amount of pressure is directly created by the number of opportunities or degree of opportunities you have present at any given moment in time. Pressure is replaced by stress when the number of opportunities has dried up.

The biological reaction of stress is necessary for survival–it’s the “fight or flight response.” The most important nutrient for the body is (drumroll please…) OXYGEN! Therefore, when the mind perceives a threat– real or imaginary–it prepares the body for immediate physical activity (whether that is fighting or running for cover) by making oxygen as abundant as possible.  Heart rate and breathing rate  increase. Blood begins to flow to muscles and away from digestive organs. Production of digestive juices is reduced and blood sugar increases to produce energy. This response is necessary and incredible–when you really need to fight or flee from a real threat. However, remaining in a perpetually stressed state without release of tension can and does create illness in the body. The body’s resources will be depleted;  supply of  hormones and other chemicals will run dry and the organs will become tired and begin to collapse.

Stress comes in the form of three ways: emotional, chemical, and physical. All three create the same reaction. How can one recover from continuous stress?

Only when the mind and body are in a calm state and allow the body to focus its energies towards repair maintenance and strengthening of itself and of its defenses.

Ahhh relaxing….one might picture sitting on a beach in a chair listening to the waves. But what is really the best way to prevent stress and perpetuate healing from past stress? Physical exercise. It oxygenates the tissues of the body, clears up the excess stress hormones, relieves tension and creates endorphins to provide a sense of well-being. One who regularly exercises can enjoy a slower heart rate, lower blood pressure, a healthy respiratory system and more relaxed muscles.

But when we receive angry emails or when someone we care for is hurting, we can’t always immediately go for a run around the block. How can we handle stress in the midst of work and responsibilities to others?

Deep breathing can stabilize and strengthen the nervous system by optimizing use of the entire lung. To try it now take a slow, deep breath in through the nose and hold for the count of seven. Exhale through the mouth and count to 8 or 10. Repeat three or more times at once, and repeat throughout the day.

Please see 101 Ways to Live Well: Tips 1-3 for more instructions of deep breathing. Do you have any favorite ways to relieve stress? Please comment below!

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~ by danclaps on June 21, 2012.

3 Responses to “Is Stress the Missing Link to a Healthier You?”

  1. Hello presently there. I found your site using bing. This generally is a very well crafted article. I shall be bound for you to bookmark this and application discover more of one¡¯s useful data. Was looking for post. I¡¯ll definitely return.

    • Thanks! I am glad you found this and that you enjoy it! I hope continue to enjoy it as it the blog grows and I continue to strive to post applicable, useful information in the world of health.

  2. […] beverages to control it, and are taught not to eat for comfort. I recommend the same; find other measures to manage stress besides food or […]

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