Stress is an automatic physiological response to any stimulus that requires you to adjust to every real, imaginary or perceived threat.
Heart palpitates, muscles tense up, BP rises, breathing quickens, nausea hits you, senses sharpen and beads of sweat appear. This is stress response.
The stress response signals start the part of the brain known as the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus, the pituitary and the adrenal glands form hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA), which governs a multitude of hormonal activities in the body.
Normally, a feedback loop switches off when the threat passes. But In some cases, continues stress can keep the system on a constant “fight-flight-freeze” mode thereby keeping the cortisol levels constantly elevated.This can contribute to health issues like blood sugar imbalance & diabetes, weight gain & obesity, digestion & intestinal problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia, fertility & erectile dysfunction… in fact almost 90% of all the known 21st century health ailments!
What happens when we are stressed?
When we are stressed, our body goes through heightened physiological changes. While our blood pressure rises, our immune system and digestive system slows down. Our non-essential bodily functions slow down so we use all our resources to concentrate on alertness, rapid breathing, muscle use and blood flow. We experience that basic need to protect ourselves. This is when our fight or flight response comes into play. This is when our bodies’ nervous system reacts to a stressful event.