What is Stress?

Abstract

Stress is a disease that has the power to kill you just the same as cancer, kidney disease, heart attack, etc. Humans, unfortunately, waste a vast amount of time stressing on things that aren’t even similar in nature but we still exhibit the same amount of stress and we do not just do it at the moment but we stress prior to and even afterward in some instances. We have to pay attention to our body and learn about stressors on the body and mind and how in turn they affect our body alignment. Stress, in my opinion, should allow us the opportunity for growth due to looking at it as a learning experience and becoming in tune with our body and mind.

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: An Evening with Robert Sapolsky

After taking the time to look at the videos, I took a deep hard look at myself and how I fit into this criterion of stressing all the time as if I am that zebra running from a lion. It does not have to be anything that gives me an indication that I am in danger but the simple fact that there is something in my life that has come upon me that is not my normal routine. In a stressful situation, several factors change within the body causing our breathing, muscle response and even blood pressure to increase and factors within our body that are not beneficial to respond at that moment shut off. The difference in humans versus the zebra is when the stress is gone the zebra’s body returns to its normal state. Human’s in some instances cannot turn the stress factors off in a timely fashion and can hold on to stress factors for quite some time thus causing harm to our body.

Humans, unfortunately, do not stress simply for emotional reasons but for any reason at all. We may have had something bad happen to us on the way to work and we allow what happened that morning to affect our entire day. We should not allow that one bad situation to turn our whole day upside down because, in turn, it can and will affect your health. We are more susceptible to stress and when we stress excessively our bodies will eventually show the signs of it. We are doing this to ourselves. What I observe is that we do not live in the present and allow the past, which we cannot change and the future in which if we keep stressing we will not be able to see, affect our bodies in ways that there can be irreversible damage.

Our own thinking can determine our happiness and how healthy you are. We have to trust in God and allow him to work things out for us. Each and every day we have to find a point to stop and allow our minds to wind down from the events of the day. We have to let go of what was, what didn’t happen, what could’ve happened and destress. We cannot change the past and there is no reason to hold on to it. I live by certain things in my life to aid me daily. Happy moments I praise God, difficult moments I seek God, quiet moments I worship God, painful moments I trust God and every moment that God allows me to see another day no matter how that day went I thank God.

Our bodies are not designed for long-term physical stress and when there is a long-term physical stress the response on the body can cause more damage than the stress factor itself. For example with my husband being a Pastor, he is under stress daily. He has been a Pastor since the age of 16 years old and one can imagine how stressed he is in his role and since being in this role, at the age of 23 he was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic. During a stress response, the body activates glucose which then provides the body with necessary energy which increases blood sugar. If blood sugar is consistently elevated, diabetes is the result.

Energy has to be channeled in the right direction at the right time. When we are in danger our bodies react much like the zebra when there is physical danger and releases the necessary energy needed but even when there is not any physical danger our body still reacts in the same manner even if it is just something in our minds and that result over an extensive period of time is physical damage. In the end, Sapolsky’s research shows that sitting in silence separates one from stress, increases one’s outlook, energy levels and imagination. Simply destress from stress!

References:

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: An Evening with Robert Sapolsky. (2015, December 29). Retrieved from YouTube Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0r6MFIZmrgU

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers. (2009, December 20). Retrieved from YouTube Website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbZb4sfEdOVIuy3lZ87C-RQ

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