Are you prone to illness? Exhausted, headachy, or brain-foggy? The root causeof your illness just might be stress.
We all face modern stressors, both good and bad, both acute and chronic. Good stress, also called eustress, is related to getting a job done, or excitement and joy. Good stressors are resolved in some timely fashion.
But bad stress, or distress, is what we really need to be aware of. Our bodies have an innate mechanism for dealing with acute stressors. Stress hormones are signaled to respond to temporary stressors and when the stressor is gone, the stress hormones decrease. This is known as your body’s fight or flight response, and it helps us to survive particularly stressful (physically and mentally) situations.
From an ancestral perspective, our acute stress response has an evolutionary advantage – that of survival. Enter modern stressors. What happens in our lives today when our brains can’t tell the difference between ‘I better run away from that bear’ and ‘I hate my job’ or ‘nobody loves me’ or ‘I wonder if I’m going to get sick’ or ‘I’m not going to have enough money to pay the bills’ or (insert your more chronic stressor here). Our stress response is then on high alert and our stress hormones are constantly pumped through our bodies. If our bodies are preoccupied with chronic stress, they are not in a position to heal, and our immune systems become compromised.
How do you identify chronic stress in your life and what can you do to decrease stress in order to increase your odds of staying healthy?
This week, Meredith talks with Norma Richardson a.k.a. the Healthy Mood Coach from The Center for Mind Body Wellness. Norma talks about how to be aware ofyour body’s stress signals and discusses strategies to relax, ground yourself, and bring your mind back to the present – where true healing can take place.