Befriending stress. Say what?
Every day we encounter perceived threats (people, places and situations) which trigger the release of hormones which cause our heart to race, our palms to sweat, our breathe to quicken, etc.). This evolutionary mechanism has enabled us to withstand existential threats quite successfully.
Unfortunately, these days, the threats turn out to be false alarms more than anything (Mark Twain had it right, I think). Real or imaginary, these threats have the end result of making us feel more stressed.
If this scenario gets played out many times each day, every day, the cumulative effect of repeated stress is manifest in our lives in ways that aren’t pretty. We overeat, we spend too much time on our devices, we get mired in behaviors that bring us comfort but don’t serve us very well.
In my health coaching I often share stress management strategies (we talk about mindfulness and meditation and exercise and support systems and healthy foods and more) which have been shown to be effective. Thankfully, there is a multitude of ways to deal with stress and reduce its impact on our life.
Nobody in their right mind goes looking for stress, right? Why would we?
Stress is generally considered to be the cause of many of the conditions which ail us. Some believe it underlies chronic diseases: heart disease, immune system disorders, digestive track problems, insomnia, to name just a few.
So why then would we even consider embracing stress?
Believe it or not, it may not be the stress which is killing us, it may be how we respond to that stress which determines whether or not our health suffers.
Here’s a link to a short video in which Kelly McGonigal tells us some very good reasons to consider changing how we look at stress.
It may save your life.
To your health!