When thinking of contemporary societies, work, streets, public transport, traffic jams – one word emerges in our minds: “stress”. Everyone is constantly accompanied by it in our modern world. But what is the core of what it represents?
The Physical Aspects of Stress
Physically, stress is a complete neurophysiological reaction of organisms against certain physical, mental and other types of irritations. In general, stress has positive effects on organisms – when organisms are exposed to conditions thought to be extreme or trouble, they overcome these conditions and are prepared to respond to eventual problems.
There are two types of stress – positive and negative. For instance, positive stress is when a person does something that they like and expects a positive result. Examples of negative stress are fear and paranoia. According to Selye’s classification positive stress is stress, and negative stress is distress.
Organisms exposed to the influence of external factors try to adapt to them – a process leading to a reaction which was called by Kenan “an alarm reaction”, and Hans Selye called it “a stress reaction” – the name which is popular nowadays. Stress reactions are organisms’ normal responds to stress factors. To normalize the condition of organisms the stress factor is necessary to be eliminated.
How do Our Organisms Respond to Stress?
Provided there is increased muscle or neuropsychological activities, the number of catecholamines (hormones produced by adrenal glands) in blood increases. They have a handful of effects such as increased blood pressure, increased levels of blood sugar, etc.
Furthermore, the function of catecholamines is to activate hypothalamus and its hormonal secretion can regulate body temperatures, appetite, excretory systems, and levels of blood sugar. Adrenal hormones are intermediaries activating the already generated and accumulated hypothalamic hormones which affect glands such as pituitary.
Probably a large number of the reactions of nervous systems are provoked by hypothalamus which has strong neuroregulation functions. The relation between hypothalamus and sleep and freshness has been experimentally proved.
Modern science attributes some emotions to hypothalamic irritations. For example, fear and rage can be provoked through artificial stimulation of hypothalamus. These two feelings are common companion in stress situations. It has been experimentally proved that there are relationships between hypothalamus and motivation and between hypothalamus and the emergence of aspiration to do something, though the second one is more complicated and depends on other factors.
A bit complicated? These words can get confusing and start to mean nothing to us. Stress is mental, it’s emotional in nature. It’s a product of our society and the rushing energy that’s cast over us. We can look into the science of stress all we want, but in the end it’s all about how we process situations, emotions and the entire experience of life.
The Spiritual Aspects of Stress
It’s all about the core issues in your life. There is a bigger picture unfolding that includes everyone on Earth. We are in a societal system that is designed to stress, distract and rush us. What we can do is be completely honest with ourselves. Are we happy doing what we do for a living? Do we like the people we are interacting with?
Ask yourself what your passion is. It’s that thing that creates an overwhelming sense of urgency in you; like that thing you really want to do. When we are pursuing our dreams, we are following our joy. We can take small steps towards it, and it looks different for everyone. It’s all about really listening to yourself and starting to truly wake up to what is happening in the world.
Stress is a symptom of being out of alignment with our joy. It is an energetic block from peace; it’s something both projected onto us and created within us. Find your passion, follow that feeling and it will take over the feelings of stress. The light will always chase the dark away.