BY: Kenneth Z. O'Connor, Chief Science Officer
Stress or tension is a part of the natural order in the universe. It can be good or bad constructive or destructive, and it varies between individuals in degree and response. Stress modifies our behavior and it controls our moods.
By improving our mood and by controlling our stress level, we can take better control of our health. We can focus our energy in the right direction, and by achieving our goals we will feel good inside and out. We all know that even the best looking bodies are unhealthy without healthy minds.
A life without stress is a life without motivation and drive. Stress in just the right proportions can stimulate our creative potential or increase our productivity and motivation. Stress motivates the student to study for exams; stress motivates the salesman to sell, and the athlete to excel beyond normal peak performance.
IMPORTANCE OF REGULATING STRESS LEVELS
There is no doubt that stress is absolutely necessary in all living things, it is a prime factor governing the need for adaptation and perhaps evolution itself. All creatures have some kind of biological pressure gauge to regulate reactions to environmental stresses. The ways we find to regulate our stress levels are as varied as our personality types, and varied symptoms we may experience.
The stress in our lives can be compared to the tension on a set of violin strings. Strings not tuned with enough tension produce notes that are flat and dull; too much tension and the string produce notes that are sharp and painful to our ears. Way too much stress and the strings snap.
However, with just the right amount of stress, they produce a cacophony of beautiful harmonies, which are said to be in accord with them. This produces music that can change our moods, and lift our spirits.
Whether you are a full time mom, stressed-out executive, or laid-back surfer, we all come equipped with the exact same bio-chemical mechanisms for dealing with stress. These bio-chemical responses originate in one of the most primitive areas of our brains.
There may be many ways to tune our strings but once tuned we are in the zone…in harmony.
- When stresses become routine, the constant biochemical pounding takes its toll on the body; the system starts to wear out at an accelerated rate.
- Too much stress may cause us to sleep too much or too little, not to eat or to eat too much. This may cause lack of energy, and we may not be able to function properly and make the best decisions. We become sour, gloomy, and irritable. We become tense and fragile and if this condition persists or accelerates we can snap.
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