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Stress is the body's normal response to anything that disturbs its natural physical, emotional, or mental balance.

Essentially stress is a response to an event or a series of events which have an adverse effect on the human mind and body. The event or the situation which causes stress is termed the stressor. The stress response can affect a person physically, emotionally or psychologically and create havoc with the functioning of almost every part of the body.

The two stress responses are: the “Fight-or-Flight reaction” or the short term response to acute stress. Here the person reacts instinctively to effect survival by either fighting back or running away from the stressor. If stress is prolonged the “General Adaptation Syndrome” comes into play. In this syndrome the person exposed to stress first gets “Alarmed”, then tries to “Resist” and finally succumbs to “Exhaustion” or has a ‘Burn Out”.
The Mind and Body connection

The mind and body are connected by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis). The worrying stressed mind, through an axis involving the brain and the endocrine glands, stimulates the supra renal glands, which secrete the havoc creating stress hormones. The stress hormones, by changing the basic metabolism and blood flow to various organs, can usher in a lot of diseases. The common dangerous stress related diseases include Coronary Artery disease, Hypertension and Stroke, Cancer, Ulcers in the Stomach, Irritable Bowel syndrome and diabetes. Stress is also associated with eating disorders leading to either anorexia or obesity. Insomnia, sexual dysfunction, hair loss, addictions and skin disease are closely associated to stress.
Common Stressors

Stressors are events or situations which trigger a stress response. It would be rather farfetched to dream a life without stressors, for stressors are present all around us. They are strewn like land mines. Some of them are cleverly concealed and some are blatantly staring at our faces. Many times we step on them quite un-knowingly, and sometimes with full awareness. It is important to identify the stressors and side step them or wear a protective outfit to survive them.

Acute Stressors include: Death of spouse, Divorce, Marital separation, Jail term, Loss of job due to termination, Retirement etc. Recurring minor stressors can be tough conditions at work, incompatibility at home or environmental factors like noise, traffic, delays etc.

For more detailed information on stress you could refer to the book “Calm Sutra, the Art of Relaxation. Link to buy E book.
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