Monday, June 18, 2007

Acute vs. Chronic stress

Acute stress is when there is a sudden accident or incident that startles you and your system into the stress mode. Chemicals are released into your body to "defend" you from the threat.
After the threat subsides, the chemicals stop circulating and your body reverts back to normal via homeostasis. However, when you have an issue that is constant, like financial, marital, or major health issues, then the chemicals continue to circulate and put your system on constant alert and bombardment. These chemicals can literally destroy your body systems and organs if allowed to continue.

Stress inoculation or the ability to practice "stress less" mind/body exercises are strategic weapons you have to reduce and control these chemicals. They involve prayer, meditation,relaxation programs, and cognitive change(autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, self hypnosis, etc). The more you know and practice, the better equipped you will be to confront the inevitable conflict or stress event (illness,injury,death,etc).

We like to refer to it as your own stress currency which you build up and store in your mental bank. When you need it, you just draw it down to meet your needs. If you have not learned and practiced these exercises, you can learn and begin them when you face a crises, however, it will be more difficult since you are under siege and your thoughts have already created an inflamed level of emergency. It will take time and will not be as effective if you had already practiced and programmed your system to deal with the heightened stress.

So, why not start today and invest in yourself. It will pay huge dividends, help you enjoy life better and longer, and give you resiliency to face any potential crises.

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