Stress is the body’s reaction to dangerous situations, whether they are real or imagined.
When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that takes you into a stress reaction known as “fight-or-flight”.
During this stress response, our heart rate increases, our breathing quickens, our muscles tighten, and our blood pressure rises. We are now ready to fight lions and tigers.
Stress means different things to different people. What causes stress in one person may be of little concern to another. Some people are also better able to handle stress than others.
And, not all stress is bad. In small doses, stress can help you accomplish tasks and prevent you from getting hurt. For example, stress is what gets you to slam on the breaks to avoid hitting the car in front of you. That’s a good thing.
Our bodies are designed to handle small doses of stress. But, we are not equipped to handle long-term, chronic stress without consequence.
Too much stress can wear you down by compromising your immune system, making you more vulnerable to illness.
We so often flippantly say, ‘oh I am just stressed’ but can we recognise when we have stress symptoms?