When you perceive something as stress or a threat your nervous system acts accordingly. There has been much discussion and awareness brought forward as to just how deep the ramifications of mismanaged stress goes. Many corporations are experiencing a greater volume of stress related absence and medical costs. Medication for anxiety and/or depression can cost an employer upwards of $400.00/ month. “Poor compensation and an unreasonable workload were tied as the No.1 stressors” according to an article from The Huffington Post. One of the most important things to understand is the physical response most humans create to daily stress does not match the trigger. In other words, the volatile mental and physical reaction to the client on the phone or the person in front of you in line, is not the same as being attacked or in a truly life-threatening situation.
Some typical physical and mental symptoms include:
- Stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol are released to respond to the signal of emergency.
- Heart rate increases, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath becomes more rapid.
- Senses become sharper.
Stress is a normal physical response to events that occur in life. Without it we wouldn’t be motivated to evolve and thrive. A life without any stress at all is not a balanced approach to living either. Due to the tremendous shift in our work-life balance over the last decade, most individuals live under a constant low-grade stress. For most, the symptoms mentioned above reflect the state their body has grown accustomed to functioning in. The body is deprived of its natural restoration cycle critical to re-balancing health chemistry in the body. This is incredibly important to the adrenal glands which play an important role in our mental attitude and longevity. When living in a state of constant stress, the adrenal glands are overworked and can no longer function optimally.
Nutrition, rest and activity are crucial in successful stress management and illness prevention. In most cases that sentence itself brings a level of stress to most of us because we immediately focus on our short-comings and failures that have not worked in the past. The good news is there are numerous ways to make small changes that all have a cumulative impact on improving your health. Relaxation techniques and deep breathing are some of the most convenient tools to extinguish intense reactions. It is hard to hold stress in your body when your brain is concentrating on completely expanding your lungs in and out.
This video is a short and easy-to-follow stretching sequence which can be done from a lying position. This sequence aids detoxification of stress hormones, digestion, flexibility and calms the mind. It is a great module to do before going to sleep.