Chronic stress is a modern day problem and an epidemic that afflicts many individuals leading to many systemic imbalances, especially if stress is not recognized and managed on a day to day basis. To put things in perspective, ‘sleep deprivation‘ alone creates a ‘heightened stress response’ within the body that ‘disrupts‘ normal healing and tissue rejuvenation processes, in affect crippling our immune system and making us more susceptible to illness.
Stress responses put the body in perpetual ‘fight or flight‘ mode, leading to high levels of cortisol circulating in the body, which is known to be the ‘precursor of disease‘.
Scientist Dr. Hans Selye gained world-wide recognition for introducing the concept of ‘stress‘ in a medical context and introduced the General Adaptation Syndrome model in 1936, showing in three phases, the effects that stress has on the body. Also known as ‘the father of stress research,’ Dr. Selye developed the theory that:
‘Stress is a major cause of disease because chronic stress causes long-term chemical changes’.
He observed that the body would respond to any external biological source of stress with a predictable biological pattern in an attempt to restore the body’s ‘internal homeostasis‘.
It was also Hans Selye who coined the phrase: “Every stress leaves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older.”
High cortisol levels are a common problem in people struggling with stress, which in turn causes many physiological disturbances and psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety. The cumulative effect of long term stress and high concentrations of stress hormones increases the hosts ‘allostatic load‘ which can cause damaging effects on various organs of the body, manifesting in the form of chronic disease, including cancer.
These stress related substances serve as a catalyst for many systemic imbalances, one crucial effect being ‘impaired cellular communication”, which is essential to balance our core physiological processes and responses, as nature intended. Prolonged stress also impedes our ‘immune response‘, which is imperative to protect the body from harmful pathogens, the role of which is to ‘break down decaying matter‘, so our job surely must be to protect ourselves at all costs from ‘not becoming decaying matter‘!!
The sources of stress are numerous with our hectic lifestyles, but luckily ‘there are just as many ways to relieve stress’ so that we can better recover from its effects and to ensure we maintain our body in a more constant state of ‘homeostasis‘.