Stress & the Body

How we react to it.

How I can help

It’s hard to get away from stress and anxiety; it’s part of our everyday lives, but when it becomes continuous, then it’s time to act.

We must appreciate that stress is essential to survival and not all stress is bad.

In an emergency, we are programmed with the fight or flight response. During this stage, our bodies go into action to help us deal with the situation. Once the high alert has been dealt with, our bodies will return to normal. This is good stress.

BUT…. too much ongoing stress and anxiety is when problems can start to affect our well-being. If we experience continuous stress for some time or go through a significant change and don’t respond to these types of stress in the right way, then it can have a detrimental impact on the quality of our lives.

Sources of Stress

  • The environment around you bombards you with demands to adjust, for example, the weather, pollens, traffic, noise, and air pollution.
  • Social stresses include demands on your time and attention, deadlines, job interviews, children leaving home, marriage problems, family problems, non-stop media interruptions, and loss of daily loved duties.
  • Physiology, for example, menopause, adolescence growth, lack of exercise, nutrition, sleep, illness, injuries, and ageing, all of which can lead to a reaction from the body and may include symptoms such as muscle aches, headaches, stomach upsets and depression.
  • Your thoughts. Your brain interprets complex environmental changes, and the body determines when to turn on the stress response. How you analyse and label your present experience and what you predict for your future can serve to either relax you or stress you.

Fight-or Flight Response

Any real or imagined stress can cause the brain to send an alarm to the hypothalamus (the main switch for the stress response), located in the midbrain.

The hypothalamus controls/stimulates the sympathetic nervous system as well as the adrenal gland and pituitary gland, which are responsible for secreting the primary stress hormone, adrenaline.

Stress and anxiety set in motion a series of changes in the body; these changes can include:

  • increased heart rate
  • increased breathing rate
  • muscle tension
  • metabolism
  • and blood pressure increases

So these areas of the body are working hard. While the body’s responses are pulled away from anxiety and stress, they cannot do their normal job of renewing, mending, and fighting the body’s defences dealing with an.

Problems arise from the continuous feelings of stress and anxiety, as the body does not get the chance to return to its normal state. Therefore, it does not have the opportunity to repair itself.

Fortunately, the exact mechanism that turns a stress response on can also turn it off. This is called the relaxation.

Your brain stops sending emergency signals to your brain stem, which, in turn, ceases to send panic messages to your nervous system (your body systems shut off the danger signals of the fight or flight response), and it burns itself out.

So, the metabolism, heart rate, breathing rate, muscle tension and blood pressure all return to normal.

This is interesting, as it suggests that you can use your mind to change your physiology to improve your health, reducing your need for medication in the process.

Chronic stress and disease

Chronic or persistent stress can occur when life stresses are unrelenting, i.e., a messy break-up or a life-threatening illness. Chronic stress also occurs when small stresses accumulate, and you cannot recuperate. If the mind perceives a threat, the body remains alert. If your stress response remains turned on, your chance of getting a stress-related disease may increase.

Why is it so important to understand & control stress?

Did you know that up to 90% of all disease is now attributed to stress, and not dysfunctional genes, that was previously believed.



Proteins in the body that get chemically altered are responsible for 10% of disease then we’re left with what is responsible for the remaining 90% of disease. There’s only one thing left in the equation and that is stress.

So how can stress create a disease?
When we are stressed, it affects the cells in our bodies’ which can alter or distort the signal between the nervous system and the target cells and proteins in those cells, which interfere with the behaviour of that cell.

In addition to trauma, toxins in the system can interfere with the signal processing, cause of the disease because toxins in the system can distort the signal between the source and the nervous system and the target cells where the signal is destined to go.




However, the biggest single issue in causing a disease is not trauma or toxins; it is our thoughts. If we send negative signals to our body, then the body’s systems can go into overdrive; the primary cause of a disease is when our consciousness is misinterpreting environmental stress and, as a result, engaging in inappropriate behaviour, looking at these three sources of disease which is trauma, toxin and thought.
-trauma represents a physical stress,
-toxin represents a chemical stress,
-thought is an emotional stress.

It has been recognised that up to 90% of all doctor visits are for stress-related ailments; now, there are two types of stress that we must consider here: one type of stress is called YOU STRESS and the other kind of stress is called DISTRESS.

Finally, don’t give up; your ability to relax, learn how to handle stress and heal yourself can be tremendously empowering. Change might not always come easy, but get away from being stuck in your old stressful habits and be patient with yourself. You can do it; be committed and patient, and it will happen.

Don’t give up!

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