Over the next few months we will be covering some of the many health problems that are caused or exacerbated by stress. The three leading causes of death in America, heart disease, cancer and stroke are all expressions of chronic stress taking its toll.
Understanding stress and its signs, and symptoms can help us take control of our lives instead of stress controlling our lives and diminishing our health.
Stress is a natural response and in some cases, it can be a positive response. It can help you meet an immediate challenge, stay focused and in a life threatening moment it can improve your physical strength and even save your life. Stress is actually part of perfect design. Our ancient ancestors could use that super human strength to escape from a bear chasing them. The problem with modern man is the bear is chasing him twenty-four seven!
We have evolved technologically, quite rapidly, but biologically not so much! The stress response in our bodies designed to protect us is now killing us!
Our bodies unfortunately can’t distinguish between physical or psychological threats. When we have deadlines, errands, financial problems, etc. this forces the “on” switch to stay constantly on and burning that proverbial candle at both ends.
Some of the physiological symptoms that occur when our bodies perceive a threat are increased adrenaline and cortisol, heart pounding, blood pressure rising, breath quickening all in anticipation of the “fight or flight” response.
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