We have all experienced stress and the
impact of stress on our day to day lives.
Sources of stress known as stressors can
be environmental, social, physiological, or
even our own thoughts. While some stress
is necessary to motivate us to function and
be productive, too much stress can get the
best out of what we do and influence the
quality of many moments of our precious
lives. It can influence the richness of our
relationships, and impact our
concentration, energy level, and the
general quality of our lives.
|How do we respond to stress?
We are born with a natural response to threat defined as the "fight or flight
response". As soon as we perceive an event or thought as threatening, a series of
biochemical responses occur to prepare us to handle the threatening situation. The
cerebral cortex sends a message to the hypothalamus and the hypothalamus
stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. As a result we experience an
increase in heart beat, blood pressure, metabolism, breathing rate, and muscle
Relationship between chronic stress and disease have been an area of study for
many researchers. These diseases may present themselves in physical or
emotional forms at their primary stages.
|What can you do about stress?
There are many ways to reduce stress. We all use strategies to reduce our stress
every day, whether we are aware of it or not. Some of the coping behaviors may be
watching TV, exercising, eating, spending time with friends, recreational activities, or
consumption of drugs or alcohol.
There are times when these habits are not as effective as we would hope for them to
be. It then becomes necessary to apply techniques that can help us master our
"fight or flight response" more effectively in order to experience a sense of joy and
fulfilment in life. Techniques such as breathing, relaxation, and meditation as
well as paying attention to nutrition, exercise, thought patterns, social and
coping skills can have a rewarding influence in our stress level and the quality
of our lives.