Stress is part of everyday life. It is a normal response to threatening situations and sometimes helps us to meet deadlines. However, nowadays, stress is overtaking our lives. This situation sooner or later becomes TOXIC and can cause physical and mental breakdown.
Why stress damages your body and brain
Stress causes your body to secrete excessive amounts of cortisol. This has serious physiological effects on your body.
Cortisol is a hormone that is involved in several important functions … the proper metabolism of glucose … the release of insulin … the regulation of blood pressure … the functioning of the immune system … inflammatory response … and so on.
Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands is small amounts as required for these functions.
However when you encounter danger it is secreted a much higher levels as part of your body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. It gives you quick bursts of energy and increased immunity, and lowers your sensitivity to pain.
The ‘fight or flight’ response is necessary to enable you to survive in times of extreme danger, e.g. when under attack from a wild beast. However, once the danger is over, your cortisol level needs to return to normal. The problem is that, in our high-stress culture, the body’s stress response is activated so often that for many of us it does not have a chance to return to normal, resulting in a state of chronic stress.
This ongoing exposure to high levels of cortisol causes the mental haziness, forgetfulness and confusion associated with old age. This gets worse as you get older because cortisol actually rises with the advancing years, unlike other hormones which diminish as we get older.
Besides impairing cognitive performance, higher prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream give rise to … a suppressed thyroid function … blood sugar imbalances … decreased bone density and muscle tissue … elevated blood pressure … lowered immunity and inflammatory responses … and increased abdominal fat – so you want to do everything you can to reduce your stress levels!
Reducing Stress to Live Longer
You can reduce Stress in your body by using a few simple, but effective, stress management techniques such as:
• Breathing Techniques
• Letting It Out … By Writing Down Or Talking About Your Problems
• Doing Your Favourite Hobby
• Listening To Music
• Laughing a lot and laughing every day!
• Walking and taking regular exercise
• And lots more, in short anything that makes you feel better!