As you may already know, I do like to "get my geek on" about improving health.
However - the study of stress - is over the top geeky! No wonder we all sort of know about it and know it's not healthy, but we don't GET IT enough to realize the crazy-bad impact of it!
It's easy to find a list of negative effects of stress, the reasons why you need to 'fix' it, AND the list of HOW TO get rid of it. But without the full story, no wonder we sort of gloss over it in our minds and in our lives.
So how can I share the BIG PICTURE for you? Hmmm...
Picture a tree. On top the branches split off into more branches, and more branches and then leaves ... at the center, it's one piece- the trunk - and then becomes tens of thousands- maybe millions of other smaller things. And, underground, the same thing with the roots - branching off into millions of tiny tentacles. And ALL of these things do their special part (which effectively are millions of other functional 'branches' - like taking in water, photosynthesis, etc)
So it is with stress.
On the outside, so many things contribute to stress: Physical environment - air and food toxins, demanding bosses or clients, the psychological effects of your childhood - the branches of stressors are huge and diverse.
Then, you look at the way your body responds and the patterns that are created in your body, and you have a whole root system of negative feedback systems and seemingly unrelated disorders. Everything from anxiety and depression to hormonal imbalances resulting in Gut Health issues - like IBS, food sensitivities and obesity, and chronic inflammation with creates everything from muscle soreness, to diabetes, chronic sinusitis, arthritis, and even MS! Crazy tangled roots!
If you're into advanced physiology - definitely look it up! The brain, the endocrine system, internal organs of all sorts are in on this game.
Otherwise, suffice it to say - YOUR STRESS IS NOT OK!
So right now, just take a deep breath - expanding your belly, expanding your rib cage, hold it for a few seconds and then release, slowly, pulling your belly in at the end to get every last drop of stale old air out. And repeat.