The word “stress” was used for the first time in 1936 by Hans Selye. He defined it as a response of the body to the demand for change. Contrary to popular belief, stress is not a bad thing. It relates to the changes happening in your body when you are in a dangerous situation — the activation of the fight or flight response.
When chased by a lion in the wild, you would need the adrenaline to be able to run away. Because of the stress that accompanies such a situation, your flight response activates.
The long-term or chronic stress we have become used to in modern life is something completely different. It’s the response to suffering emotional pressure for an extended period in which the person feels like they have little to no control over their circumstances. Simply put, chronic stress can kill you!
Effects of Chronic Stress on Your Body
- Mental health issues like depression, anxiety and panic disorders
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Hair and skin problems such as hair loss, eczema and acne
- Metabolic illnesses such as GERD and IBS
- Sexual dysfunction such as loss of sexual desire and impotence
- Eating disorders
- Cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart disease, heart attacks and stroke
How to Manage Chronic Stress
Chronic stress in your life can leave you feeling run down, overwhelmed, and burnt out. Meditation is a proven way to manage and resolve chronic stress. Numerous studies confirm the benefits of meditation in treating chronic stress.
People who practice meditation regularly, even if just for 10 minutes per day, are more resilient and creative, can focus on their daily tasks and have better health.
Meditation does not have to be limited to a quiet room. You can practise it anywhere. You can meditate sitting behind your desk at work, standing in the queue at the store or while taking a walk in the park. As long as you focus your attention on your breathing, and allow your mind to become quiet, you will begin the process of destressing.
Starting a daily meditation practice will help you manage stress. For help on getting started, get in touch with one of our Integrative coaches and book your free discovery session.