Our Bodies on Stress

Our brains and bodies still respond to stress in a very similar way that our hunter-gatherer ancestor’s responded- with a flight-or-fight response initiated by adrenalin. In preparation for a stressful event, adrenalin launches a cascade of hormonal events that raise our blood pressure, tense or muscles speed up our breathing and heart rate and suppress our hunger and digestion. This type of catabolic metabolism is vital to survival and is often what motivates us to push on. However, many people are now experiencing prolonged stress, and when this “flight-or-fight” response is not terminated in time, or happens too often, the effects on our bodies can prove disastrous. Fatigue, diabetes, hypertension, ulcers, impotence, immune system dysfunction and neural damage are just some of the consequences of uncontrolled stress.74

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