What is stress is a fundamental question without a clear answer. Many people associate stress with fright. Indeed nobody would question that you would get stressed if you drove a car and suddenly another driver entered your lean from the opposite direction.
Definitely you will get frightened. The fright about saving your life and car untouched would then transform into an internal tension which most often remains in the heart and stomach areas.
However stress is much more than just a fright. Many reliable sources of information give a definition of stress focusing on the response of human body to changes in the surrounding environment.
It follows that the real reason of stress is in the human individual itself and will emerge any time a sudden change in the surrounding environment happens. Stress stems from the instinct to protect life which is given to anyone of us and is so basic that unconsciously we follow it day after day.
Stress is the internal reaction coming from the bosom of your soul to protect life. This reaction is triggered by the changes in the surrounding environment.
Here we have just come to a paradox. How come stress can be a reaction to protect life and in the same time it turns out that any health care professional nowadays will confirm that most of the health problems of the contemporary humans are due to stress? Some go even further and classify stress as the plague of twentieth century.
The explanation is very easy, though.
Yes, stress may save your life. However, the stress reactions happen at the expense of all other vital processes in your body. Put another way stress suppresses any other processes apart from the life saving ones. Let's say if you have to fight for your life, you can not digest in the same time.
This is why in addition to the stress mechanism we are given a mechanism which guarantees our restoration. A smooth going back to normal, where all vital processes are not dominated and run at normal priority. In other words to protect life in the long run we are made to shortly compromise all vital processes in our body (this is the stress mechanism). However immediately after the stressful situation has passed away, we are made to initiate a restoration mechanism which has to recover the damages.
The paradox mentioned above is due to the fact that chronic stress has become our daily guest and this is why we just do not allow the restoration mechanism work. We can not recover and let stress impacts accumulate until one day they materialize in what we know nowadays as physical effects of stress.
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