In our modern life we cannot avoid stress. It is part of our life. Nowadays we have to deal with more stressed situations compared to a few decades or centuries ago. We also have been flooded with massive amounts of data or information every day. People also have become more money and profit oriented so we also have to cope up with this new reality to survive in today’s world.
But we are totally unaware about the stress it creates in our body and its after effects like health issues, mental troubles etc. Our body is not designed to live in such a stressful situation for a long time. Actually the body’s stress fighting mechanism is designed to manage an external threat which needs immediate attention. Like when you are in front of a barking dog or a wild animal or when you are about to fall, or when you are being chased by a stalker or thief etc.
In such situations we have two options – fight or flight. So our brain prepares the body for that. For both these we need lots of energy. In this situation our sympathetic nervous system will get activated and that prepares the body for a fight or flight. Heart pumping will get accelerated, increased blood glucose level for more energy, more blood to brain and muscles etc. Brain also reduces or stops unimportant functions like saliva creation, digestion, healing or immune system functions etc. Normally this external threat will be over in a few minutes and the body will be back to normal immediately.
Same thing happens when you are stressed too ! The most important thing is that the body cannot differentiate an external threat and a threat or problem we create through our imagination ! So when your boss shouts at you or when you are in a job related pressure or when we fight at home with your spouse or when we worry about a financial crisis the same thing happens. Body responds exactly the same way !
But the problem is such kinds of issues will not go away in a few minutes like an external threat. It lingers in our mind and body for hours or days. So till we come out from the stressed mood our body keeps on working to get rid of it. Unfortunately in today’s world this happens almost every day and that keeps our heart pumping accelerated most of the time, more glucose in blood throughout the day and our digestion, healing etc get affected all the day. Nowadays our body’s main duty is to fight the internal threat which we actually created with our imagination unnecessarily. So the body doesn’t get time for healing and regeneration. This is the root cause of 90% of our health issues. Prolonged increased heart pumping creates health problems, prolonged increased glucose levels leads to diabetes etc.
So how to avoid causing such harm to our body ? How to manage stress ? We cannot completely avoid stressful situations. It is part of our life. So the only thing we can do is manage it. Problem is we are too much identified with body and mind. If we reduce that belief then gradually things will cool down. We are much much bigger than our finite mind and body. We are Infinite, dimensionless, pervasive consciousness and it acts like finite mind and body. When you realize and accept this truth everything will change. You will no longer be disturbed by simple worldly matters. Do meditation, breathing exercises and yoga. Learn vedanta or other spiritual things. Realize your True Self. That is the best way to reduce our attachments to the outside world, which is actually an illusion. I have already covered topics like mind management, mindful meditation, vedanta etc in my old posts. Please check it out.