What is Stress?
What Really is Stress?
We use the word stress all the time. We use it in phrases such as, “I’m stressed, I’m stressed out, This is stressful, This is stressing me out.” But what does it really mean? What is actually taking place in our body when we are stressed.
Your Body is Out of Balance
Stress is when your body loses its homeostasis and becomes out of balance. In essence, your body is sensing a threat. When this happens, your body will activate its axis-of-stress and produce the stress hormones needed for your body to deal with the stress. These stress hormones include cortisol, adrenaline, and nor-adrenaline. Once deployed, the stress hormones will help your body deal with the imbalances. If everything works well, your axis of stress will shut down and the production of these hormones will stop.
The problems arise when your axis-of-stress doesn’t shut down. What causes the axis of stress to not shut down? The stress you are experiencing may be constant such as everyday work pressure and difficult relationships. However, your axis-of-stress may have problems shutting down if some of the genes that normally help it shut down are not working properly. Therefore it may be both a visual, everyday stress that you know you are reacting to in addition to a gene issue that you are unaware of.
Chronic Illness May Occur as a Result of Stress
If your axis-of-stress does not shut down, your body thinks it is still under stress and continues to produce the stress hormones such as cortisol. The production of cortisol will increase inflammation in the body and attack your microbiota (the good bacteria inside of you). So now we are dealing with the physical impacts on the body as a result of outside stressors and a possible gene issue. Once the body is inflamed and the microbiota are attacked, your digestive system will suffer and your immune system will be ramped up. Ultimately, this could result in chronic illnesses.
A 24/7 Phenomenon
Our body can be under stress and generally deal with it properly for about one hour per day. Unfortunately, in our world, stress has become a 24/7 phenomenon. It’s imperative that you learn how your own body deals with stress in order for you to support it properly. If not, the consequences can be devastating to you and your loved ones.