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Introduction

Stress. Just the mention of the word might make you anxious.

 

Most people deal with it regularly. And to be honest, it is a natural and healthy process … if the stress is not chronic and occurring too frequently. The stress response in human beings is a survival mechanism that has allowed us to climb to the top of the food chain.

 

If your body didn’t do what it does when you experience stress, you literally may not be here today.

 

When you experience stress, your heart rate increases. So does your respiratory rate. Your five senses become alert. You experience a natural rush of energy as adrenaline pumps throughout your body. This process is a watered-down version of what happened when your cave-dwelling ancestors were out hunting and gathering and found themselves face to face with a hungry saber-toothed tiger.

 

It is called the fight or flight response. Your mind and body become focused, intense and charged with energy to help you deal with what you perceive as a threat.

 

The problem is that stress can have a negative cumulative effect. If your body does not return to a normal, stress-free state before you encounter another dose of stress, your health can suffer in a number of ways. And believe it or not, you have more stressful situations that impact your life each and every day than your Paleolithic ancestors did.

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