Whenever I read articles about high blood pressure, I stumble upon this ghost “stress”. Stress is everywhere, chasing us wherever we go, whatever we do. Our enemy No 1 as it seems. The miracle cure: Relax, do sports, do yoga, do this and that – more stress. No wonder, that we all eventually suffer from high blood pressure…
We live in a very demanding and fast-moving world. Most of us have several tasks and liabilities during the day. Taking care of kids, fulfilling the deadlines of our jobs, answering all these emails, do our tax filing and shaping our body after the other duties are fulfilled. Are we all stressed out?
Stress is the most abused term associated with high blood pressure! How often do you hear: Oh, you should get rid of your stress, it is causing your blood pressure to rise?
Well, sure we all have to deal with demands and work, but what did people do in times of war, when they had to fight literally for food, fight for their own lives and the life of their children? Weren’t these people a little more stressed than we are today? How come then, that people who are retired develop high blood pressure? Or people who unfortunately are unemployed?
In order to find out we should stop for a moment and ask ourselves: What is stress in the first place?
As it might surprise most of you, there is no clear definition of the term stress. In a biological sense the term was coined by the scientist Hans Selye in 1936. Being interviewed he stated that “Everyone knows what stress is, and nobody really knows”.
When we look at physics the term stress really means two things: a) An applied force or system of forces that tends to strain or deform a body. b) The internal resistance of a body to such an applied force or system of forces.
Selye found out that also our body reacts to external forces. Up to a point – in physics you would call this the yield point – tension translates into enhanced productivity. He called this eu-stress or positive strain. If tension rises beyond this yield point the forces would cause all sorts of sicknesses in the body, not only high blood pressure. He called this tension di-stress. However, his findings could not be fixed to a particular force. How you react to a passionate kiss or to a root canal procedure is totally your individual “breaking point”.
Thus, we should be aware of the following:
1) “stress” is not measurable in humans as it is not defined.
2) The term “stress” does not imply any reasons or causes.
3) “Stress” also means our resistance to an external force.
4) The responses, yield points and outcomes are different for each one of us!
I am not saying that stress has no impact, what I am saying is that it is a dangerous general scapegoat. The real causes behind the phenomenon lie much deeper –
– in our individual perceptions of the outside world and in our emotions.
– in our responses to the above.
AND THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN WORK ON AND CHANGE.
You will see how!
Remember, our blood pressure and our arteries react to our nervous system and these chemicals called hormones, such as adrenalin and cortisol!
Luv thy heart!