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What is Stress?

By Dr. Daemon Jones Expert HERWriter
 
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learn the basics about stress
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Have you experienced stress? How would you describe it?

It is so interesting that when you ask people if they have ever experienced stress, most people will say yes. They can even tell you the situation or event that caused them to feel stressed. But everyone does not feel stressed or get stressed for the same reasons.

Today I thought I would answer the questions, what is stress, and why do we need stress to survive?

What is stress? According to the Medical Dictionary, stress has been defined as an organism's total response to environmental demands or pressures.

The response can be measured in one of two ways:

1) by the organism's internal interpretation of a stimulus or situation
or
2) by the organism's external response to stimulus measured by physical functions including release of stress hormones

People generally feel stressed because they feel threatened in a situation or in their environment. When we feel a loss of control in our physical, social or working environments it brings on the feeling of stress.

There are certain emotions that also bring on the feelings of being stressed including feeling helpless or hopeless, intense fear or anger, cynicism or lack of trust.

Feeling stressed is generally accompanied by physical symptoms that make us aware that we are feeling stress. Our blood pressure rises and our heart starts beating faster, our breathing becomes more rapid, our muscles tense and our mind becomes more alert.

More long-term symptoms might include digestive upset or changes in bowel movements, decrease in our immune function, or inability to sleep.

Since each person identifies, handles and manages stress differently there are different combinations of these symptoms that can occur related to feeling stressed.

Why do we need stress to survive? From a basic survival standpoint, stress is a necessary component for life. If we as humans are being threatened by a lion we need to feel stress. In that instant we need to release our stress hormones to help us run away to safety or fight off the lion.

Add a Comment1 Comments

Traceyb

A quick, simple way to release stress both in moment of high stress and for ongoing stress is to get yourself grounded!
Grounding or earthing, is as fundamental to our health as air, water and nutrients. Our bare feet, rich with nerve endings, rarely touch the ground these days and there is a connection, I believe, between being disconnected from the earth and the diseases, fatigue, poor sleep and general sense of poor health many of us experience. When you are grounded, your body becomes suffused with negative charged free electrons abundantly present on the surface of the earth. Your body immediately equalises to the same electric energy level as the earth. When this is happening you might feel a warm tingling feeling or the type of wellbeing and relief you feel when you take your shoes off and your feet hit the warm sand at the beach. Perhaps those holidays in temperate climes are not the reason for you feeling rejuvenated but the fact that your bare skin is in touch with the earth? This must be the cheapest, simplest, safest, basic and perhaps most effective health ‘discovery’ in decades!

April 19, 2013 - 8:28am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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