Stress is a Good Thing: Only in Small Doses

Do you know that we each have super-hero powers?  The human body is designed with this amazing system to help us run faster, accomplish amazing feats and increase our general survivability.  It doesn’t involve capes, masks or tight leggings…unless you are into that of course!  What it does involve is a complex biochemical response system.  During times of stress,  cortisol and adrenaline are released and trigger waves of hormone responses to mobilize and energize us into action and reaction.   

This enables us to flee from a predator, push someone from the path of a speeding car, or dash to the very back of the store to the 75% off rack to grab that last amazing dress. These responses are known as “fight or flight.” The problem is these responses are not designed to be long-lasting.  The purpose is to have a short burst of these hormones to fight our way through an event or have just enough energy to flee the scene.  We were never intended to stay in a constant state of flight or flight.  

However, most of us today stay in an elevated state of chronic stress; keeping those hormones at elevated levels.  Remember the last time your alarm clock didn’t go off and you were late to work?  What about that near miss in traffic?  Oh, and what about the last time your teenager pushed your “buttons”.  Yep!  That warm flush, pulsing heart rate and fuzzy feeling in your head were fight or flight… stress! Scientists have proven that chronic stress can have terrible effects.  Heart disease, immune disorders, digestive disorders, cancers and mental disorders all have ties to chronic stress. 

What can you do?  It is simple; you have to seize opportunities to reduce those hormone levels.  In a single word, RELAX! It is unrealistic to think that we will never have stress in our lives.  A reasonable goal is to find something that you enjoy doing; then just let go!  I, of course, am partial to visiting a spa to get my relaxation on.  I love a good massage!   I challenge you to find a way to keep your inner super-hero in check.   What will be the kryptonite to your stress?