Stress is directly or indirectly responsible for all chronic illnesses and has already reached epidemic proportions in our modern civilization, due to living fast paced lives under constant pressure.
However, there are natural stress relief techniques you can learn to manage your day and help you to avoid eventually developing serious illnesses.
What is stress?
The short-term stress response is the body’s natural reaction – it is mother nature’s protective mechanism to be alert – to ensure self-protection under conditions of psychological or physical threats or challenges.
Stress is caused by the freeze, fight or flight response in our primitive brain. It releases the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenalin, when we encounter danger or life threatening situations in life.
However, in many instances, what the brain perceives as a threat may not even be based on real and present danger. Mostly it is due to our imagination, provoked by worry or anxiousness about things going wrong in the future, about dealing with challenging situations in the present or even about bringing up unpleasant memories from the past.
The basic stress response
The first, or basic indicators of stress are the following:
- Fear, which leads to feelings of anxiety.
- Anger, leading to hostility, resentment, grievances and vengeful thoughts.
- Guilt, which leads to shame.
- Grief, sadness and a sense of loss.
According to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, developed in the late 1960s, the biggest life stressors are the same for everyone:
- Death of a spouse.
- Divorce or separation .
- The death of a family member or loved one.
- Personal injury or illness.
- Being dismissed from work.
- Reuniting with a spouse.
- Moving from one home to another.
- Starting a new job.
- Starting your own business.
- Work or school- related deadlines.
- High stress occupations.
- Uncomfortable social situations.
- Physical, emotional or mental abuse.
The traumatic effects caused by these highly stressful situations, in some instances, can even lead to post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).
The symptoms of stress
Prolonged stress has emotional, physical and mental consequences with the following symptoms.
- Lack of concentration.
- Lack of motivation.
- Memory loss.
- Panic attacks.
- Feeling overwhelmed.
- Increased blood pressure.
- Muscle tension.
- Skin eruptions.
- Musculo-skeletal disorders.
- Shifting aches and pains.
- Listlessness and fatigue.
- Change in sex drive.
- Teeth grinding.
- Sleep disorders.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Gastrointestinal disorders, leaky gut.
- Heart palpitations.
- Metabolic disorders.
- Inflammation, which can lead to arthritis and joint problems.
- Immune dysfunction, which can lead to cancer.
- Lung problems.
- Overeating or under-eating.
- Alcohol and drug abuse (self medication).
- Hyperactivity or under-activity.
The different stages of stress
The first stage
When we experience stress, our bodies automatically react with the characteristic “fight or flight” response, also known as an adrenaline rush. In life-threatening situations, this is helpful, as adrenaline causes the pulse, blood pressure and rate of breathing to increase in our bodies, better preparing us for fight or flight. When the outside threat disappears we return to normal, especially after a good night’s sleep,
The second stage
After continued exposure to stress without a break, we start overreacting to seemingly minor events. In today’s modern society, stress from traffic jams, work, or countless other everyday situations can trigger us. We end up in a constant state of stress which depletes our reserves, especially our adrenal glands, which lessens our ability to handle any additional stress. Even our ability to sleep can be affected.
The final stage
The accumulation of stress over time leads to exhaustion, burn-out, and systemic collapse. Unable to return our body, mind and spirit to its normal state of balance due to overwhelming stress, we suffer physical, emotional and mental breakdowns.
If we don’t learn to manage the stress response, and if stress becomes chronic and is a constant in our lives, it leads to inflammation which eventually leads to serious illnesses.
Being aware is the first step to managing stress. Regularly dealing with stress through stress management practices and pleasant, fun activities will benefit you and help you to avoid expensive medical bills in the long run.
Your most fundamental and long-term solution to relieve stress is regular, direct contact with your innermost self through meditation and energy healing techniques. It will not only eliminate accumulated stress, but prepare you for future stress before it arises.
Natural stress management techniques you can practice daily:
- Deep breathing. See: How heart focused breathing can benefit you.
- Meditation. See: How to meditate for physical, mental and spiritual benefits…
- Chanting mantras.
- Listening to the music you love.
- Watching comedies that make you laugh, or movies about love.
- Practicing gratitude. Appreciate the things you have, instead of what you don’t have.
- Spending time with the people you love.
- Playing with your pets.
- Getting plenty of exercise.
- Getting plenty of sleep.
- Getting out in nature as often as possible.
- Earthing yourself, e.g. walking barefoot on the ground or using visualizing techniques to ground yourself.
- Smiling and laughing as much as possible.
- Being kind to others.
Feeling overwhelmed by stress?
If you feel overwhelmed and are suffering the effects or symptoms of chronic stress – dis-ease, illness, PTSD or emotional disfunction – there is something you can do about it.
The energetic imbalances in your body caused by dense, lower-vibrational, non-physical energies that get lodged in your body through anxiety, fear, anger and trauma can be released with the assistance of energy healing techniques. (See how it works HERE)
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