In nature, stress is intensive but short. If you imagine a flock of gazelles and a lion hunting. From the moment the gazelles spot the lion, they begin to run. It is the flee for your life principle. This is a very stressful situation.
But at a moment, the lion will have caught a gazelle. The flock can now relax, and the gazelles start to eat and drink and rest a little. There is no danger anymore.
But for us, “civilized animals,” stress is rarely only for a few minutes. Quite the opposite, in fact:
– Your boss is always your boss, the clients are always right and all that.
– Your bank will NEVER forget you owe them money!
– Your debts are often too difficult to pay back.
– There is always more and more work to do.
– Our children, our youngsters… Well… No comments on that one!
– There are traffic jams, noisy surroundings, a lot of people in the busses, in the subway… Everywhere.
– Turn on the TV? Well, the whole world seems to be going astray: unemployment, wars, massacres, ice melting from the north pole might drown us…
Stress killer Long-time Stress video
So we are under constant stress. This is why there are three phases, we will go through:
1. Alarm phase: Stress hormones are released (mostly adrenaline) which gives more physical ability to fight or flight (like the gazelles, I just talked about). Our lungs will have more capacity, the heart is pumping more so the muscles are ready, the internal organs are working slower, the mind is more aware… We are ready for action.
2. Resistance phase: After a few minutes, the body is getting used to this new reality and releases other hormones (cortisol and endorphins) so we can hold longer. The brain is working at a fantastic speed, sees all, analyses all. The body can run a few more miles, too. It is the state many people who love intense activity are looking for. It is at this state that there can be a pleasure.
In this phase, you can actually learn new possibilities or get in a better physical state.
After this phase, you have to rest. If you don’t the body gets burned out.
3. Burning out: This is when you go over your capacities. In this phase, there will be a high level of cortisol in the blood, which will lead to very serious illnesses. Besides that, of course, a lot of other symptoms: tiredness, depression, no energy at all.
Long-time stress is a killer.
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