Stress is anything that disturbs the body’s homeostasis and causes it to go into the fight or flight response. It’s our bodies mechanism to protect itself. We need it for creativity, learning, and our very own survival. Stress, however, becomes a problem when it is overwhelming and the stress levels are extended for a period of time.
When stressed the body releases adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones increase the heart rate, elevate blood pressure, raises sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream and boosts energy supplies. The body goes into a fight or flight mode. This interferes with the body’s ability to properly digest and assimilate food, contributes to many health problems and can cause a lack of sleep.
One of the first steps to releasing stress is becoming aware that one is stressed. Through this awareness we have the ability to change. This awareness brings us into the present enabling us to create new ways of responding to life rather than reacting to it. For today, take a look at when you're stress, when you're holding your breath or tensing your shoulders, ask yourself ... 'is this helpful to be, can I soften, relax?'