With so many people feeling overwhelmed, stressed and worried about their finances, health and well being it seemed obvious to share Simple Steps to Suppress Stress. Many people are confused about exactly what stress is and where it comes from.
The classic definition of stress is: “any imagined or real threat, and the body’s response to it.”
Some point to external environment factors as the cause of their stress, while others seem to think other people are the source. In reality all stress results from beliefs, conditions and factors that affect the quality of our body, mind and spirit. Whether it originates from concerns around your health, job, money, relationships, technology or even traffic stress, it seems to be everywhere.
Physiological Effects of Stress
First it is valuable to take a look at what happens from a physiological sense when we become stressed. We have a survival reflex built into us referred to as the fight or flight response. This response helped us evolve during times when we dealt with nature and hunted animals for food while we avoided danger and becoming food for animals. Some of the survival factors that would occur are:
- Increase heart rate to pump more blood
- Increase blood pressure
- Blood shifts from vital organs to the arms and legs
- Stress hormones are released
- Platelets clump to stop any bleeding
Fight or Flight Response
These changes were helpful in preparing us for a Fight or Flight response should we encounter a potential physical threat. In modern society our stress problems stem from activating this physical response system to situations that are more emotionally based such as bills, e-mails, family, traffic and work issues.
With frequent and repeated exposure it conditions our system to react to everyday factors in our environment as threatening. Fight or Flight conditioning is the basis of many of the illnesses that face our modern society today such as:
- Digestive disturbances
- Heart disease and vascular problems
- Increased blood pressure
- Stress hormones create anxiety, exhaustion and even depression
- Weakened immune system more susceptible to disease and infection
Methods to Reduce & Prevent Stress
Now that we understand many of the cause and effect factors that are generated by stress it is helpful to look at methods to reduce and prevent stress from occurring in the first place. Experience has shown that there are many ways to help the body respond with more calm and serenity before, during and after potential stress triggers.
My five top therapeutic techniques are deep breathing, Emotional Freedom Techniques, (EFT), exercise, meditation and yoga.
Each of these has repeatedly shown to elicit the exact opposite physiological responses from the Fight or Flight triggers, even as soon as minutes after the experience takes place. Each of them has been shown to rebalance the body, mind and spirit after a Fight or Flight response. Scientific studies show:
- Blood pressure returns to normal
- Blood flow returns to normal and circulates to all areas
- Breathing relaxes
- Digestive system function returns to normal
- Heart rate slows down
- Immune system improves
- Stress hormone levels return to normal
When we realize that stress is based on our conscious and unconscious beliefs, behaviors and thoughts it is possible to condition ourselves to minimize and reduce most of the traditional factors which cause the majority of the stress in our lives. Once you discover these Simple Steps to Suppress Stress and develop a regular routine of these top five techniques you will enjoy a happier and healthier lifestyle.
Our next blog post will share: Happy Healthy Harmony for Holidays