You’ve probably been told “long term stress is bad for your health.” But that's pretty vague, right? Thousands of other things are “bad for your health”, so how is this different?
Why is stress bad and what symptoms can long term stress cause? To understand this, you need to understand what a normal, healthy stress response is.
This is what’s SUPPOSED to happen in your body when you get stressed:
When humans were stressed thousands of years ago, it was typically because they were in imminent danger (think life or death situations). Maybe a lion was chasing them or they were starving and had to find food.
In stressful situations like these, the brain only wants to focus on survival and GETTING OUT OF DANGER. So the brain signals a normal stress response, which includes telling the adrenal glands to secrete more cortisol, which is also known as the "stress hormone".
The increased cortisol output raises heart rate, increases alertness and makes you stronger, faster and smarter so you can escape danger. It also tells the body to stop focusing on things it doesn’t need RIGHT NOW to survive, like digesting food, sleeping, and defending against disease.
So in a stressful situation, you get amped up to escape the lion or find food, and when the danger has passed, you go back into a relaxed state with normal, healthy cortisol levels. And everything is well again.
As a human, this is the kind of stress your ancestors lived with for THOUSANDS of years. And you are designed the same way - to handle SHORT TERM stress.
Today, different stress means VERY different outcomes
You might deal with things like work, taking care of family, bills, school, deciding what clothes to wear, traffic, staying on schedule, etc. Even WORRYING about something in your mind can cause stress and raise cortisol levels.
The alarm sounds, snooze, it sounds again, snooze, and in my morning slumber ... I begin my day with gratitude saying softly thank you Mother Earth, Father Sun, and Higher Self for waking me up sober and not hungover, thank you for another amazing day clean, thank for the love that surrounds me, thank you for the light that shines through me, thank you...
The alarm sounds again, snooze... Time to create the day: As a thinker, speaker, doer of the highest and best intentions, I AM a dynamic, enthusiastic participant in life. Divine ideas flow through me and through my thoughts, actions, and words. I AM honest, open-minded, and willing today. I AM courageous. I am a man of my word. I AM humble. I AM self-disciplined today. I AM beautiful from the inside-out. I AM a beacon of light. I AM surround by love. I AM at peace with myself and the world. I AM love. I AM amazing.
As I crawl out of bed, I prepare myself for another day of channeling the light and love of Universe by turning on some Bach, nourishing my body with breakfast, pressing my clothes, feeding the little kitties, allowing the water of the shower to awaken my cells and connect me to the all-that-is, dressing, and softly saying goodbye to my beautiful spouse.
When I arrive at the SHAW Center for Healing, the first thing that I notice when I open the door is the beautiful light that shines through the windows. Thank you Father Sun and Mother Earth for such an incredible sacred space, I say. Thank you for another day of love, healing, and transformation.
As I prepare the space energetically, I meditate with this beautiful affirmation from Paul Selig that sits on my desk:
As I lift my light to be seen by my fellows,
As I lift my worth to be received by myself,
I align myself to service so that so that my gifts may be realized,
So that my gifts may be shared, so that my gifts may be seen,
And I may accept myself in my divine plan:
A manifestation of the Creator in form, here to sing my song for the benefit of all.
I know who I am, I know what I am, I know how I serve.
I am Word, I am Word, I am Word.
Let the healing begin. Namaste.
Our Amazing Team