Stress is not floating around in the air. It’s your body’s internal response to a perceived threat to your wellbeing.
- Regardless of whether this ‘threat’ requires a physical or thoughtful response, your body automatically prepares to defend itself.
- This primal reaction is a physical one and is often referred to as the ‘fight or flight’ response.
These physiological responses were crucial to our ancestors’ survival in the wild and they are still useful to us on rare occasions today. More frequently, however, they now represent an overreaction to modern challenges that often don’t require a physical response at all.
What the ‘threats’ of today lack in physical danger to our bodies they make up for in sheer diversity and quantity. As a result we can find ourselves in a more or less constant state of ‘red alert’.
In this state our bodies are not operating efficiently. You see, the stress response holds a kill switch for many of the essential processes that keep us healthy and well balanced. A stressed body has little time to attend to the critical functions of rest, repair and regeneration..