In 1994 when I taught my first class in Anatomy and Physiology at a local college, I was shocked to find that the largest chapter in the 4 inch thick text book was on stress. The fact is, stress is not just a term or a state of mind, it is incredibly damaging to your body. Stress is something you must drastically minimize in order to not just stay sane, but to stay healthy.
Damaging stress is created when forces or circumstances outside the body overwhelm the mind, the physiology, and the senses in the body causing them to go through a negative change.
As we address improving the root causes of disease: subluxation, inflammation, oxidation, and genetic flaws, all of these are aggravated by dis-stress. If you don’t address the stress, the causes continue or come back.
Unlike the obviously harmful events such as a fresh cut that bleeds, the damaging and even deadly effects of stress can often be a silent killer.
There is a direct link between stress and the dysfunction of various parts and systems within the body. Stress reactions alter the digestive system, over-stimulate certain glands while under stimulating others, affect heart function, and change breathing. As a result, stress has an actual, measurable negative impact on blood pressure, cholesterol, electrolytes, brain chemistry, blood sugar levels, joint function, and hormonal balance.
All of the physiological problems associated with stress will speed up the aging process and cause or contribute to literally every type of symptom or disease known to man. Stress even makes you gain weight.
People all face much of the same outside factors that cause stress. Work, relationships, school, personal and family health problems, money issues, and even positive events like weddings and parties can all be stress-producing circumstances. However, none of these things are necessarily bad.
Both happy events and tragedies alike cause a stress response in the body. Some stress is unavoidable. The only way to have zero stress is to not get up in the morning! On the other hand, stress only becomes negative when your response to it is negative. The condition we call stress is entirely self-induced. It is how each individual responds to stress, and not the stress itself, that causes a negative reaction in the body.
Stress is not a person, a condition, or an event. Stress is a reaction to a person, a condition, or an event. Just how negative this reaction is will determine the amount of emotional turmoil and damage done to the body. Effectively, any injury induced by stress is a self-inflicted wound.
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By Dr. Ben Lerner 2X New York Times Best-Selling author and former Olympic Team Chiropractor, nutritionist, and strength and conditioning trainer.