magine a cave woman over 25,000 years ago sitting peacefully in the bushes eating berries, when suddenly a saber-tooth tiger approaches her. All resources in her body shift away from digesting the berries and toward escaping the tiger. Her heart rate increases, reflexes quicken, blood glucose levels rise to supply energy to her muscles, and her blood clots more readily in case the tiger slashes her. What she has experienced is the classic fight-or-flight response.
During this time normal everyday maintenance functions such as: digestion, immune and hormonal functions are temporarily put on hold. Now imagine the outcome if our bodies’ normal everyday functions were often or always-on hold….
In today’s modern world, escaping that tiger is an every-minute-of-the-day affair. Our brains can’t tell the difference between “I have so many emails and tasks to finish and I don’t have time” and “Ahhh! There is a tiger chasing me.”
Stress is any thought, feeling, or belief that makes your brain feel threatened. So that includes getting chased by a tiger but also work stress, money worries, relationship struggles, and feelings of resentment, sadness, and anxiety.
The constant stress our bodies are under inhibits the body’s ability to return to equilibrium. Chronic stress can cause headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, insomnia, digestive problems, infertility, and a variety of emotional conditions.
This long-term stress increases your chances of hypertension, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and a host of other conditions.