The effects of stress on health are far-reaching and important.

The energy field of a person when they are relaxed feels very different from when they are tense and anxious. On an energetic level, stress tends to block and unbalance our energy, and make our field feel less smooth and fluid.

Physical Effects of Stress

When we feel threatened in any way, our body responds to this stress by activating the sympathetic nervous system. Physiological changes accompanying the so-called “fight, flight or freeze” mode include:

  • Your heart beats faster and pumps more blood.
  • Your blood pressure rises.
  • You consume more oxygen.
  • You expel more carbon dioxide.
  • You breathe faster and your breath is more shallow.
  • You sweat.
  • One part of your adrenal glands put out adrenaline and noradrenaline, which constrict blood vessels.
  • Another part of your adrenal glands puts out cortisol.
  • Your pancreas releases more of the hormone glucagons and less of the hormone insulin.
  • As a result of increased glucagons and decreased insulin, your blood sugar level rises.
  • You reduce blood supply to your digestive organs and increase blood supply to your muscles.
  • Your pituitary gland produces less growth hormone and your also produce lower levels of sex hormones.
  • Your immune system is suppressed.
  • Your mental focus narrows.

Stress causes the reptilian section of the brain to dominate the forebrain. Your thinking brain turns off. You begin reacting in unpremeditated, automatic ways.

Prolonged stress can make you vulnerable to illness and accelerates aging. Over time the stress response can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, autoimmune diseases, cancer, anxiety, insomnia and depression.

Stress is inevitable, and moderate, short-term stress can actually be good for us. But learning to manage stress so that it doesn’t become overwhelming or go on for a long time is critical to maintaining our energetic, physical, emotional, and mental health.

To learn some simple relaxation techniques for managing stress, click here.

Material from (1 Apr 2011):