One of the questions that turns up in my E-Mail more often than others is the ever-popular topic of how to reduce the daily stress that characterises our modern, technoloigically-advanced lives. We just don’t seem to be able to handle our stress. Isn’t that strange? Just think about that for a moment. We’ve made extraordinary advances in our knowledge and understanding of so many fascinating areas of discovery. We have access to more knowledge than any other generation in the history of our species. We have virtually instantaneous communication with people all around the world. We’re linked by satellites, by fiber-optic cables, by microwave signals, all at the touch of a button on a handheld device. Yet, with all this extraordinary technological development, we’re still essentially the same creatures that were wandering around the plains of Africa for hundreds of thousands of years. The speed of our technological advances has not been matched by our capacity to adapt to the relentless pace of all these marvellous changes. And one of the consequences has been a disturbing rise in our stress levels.
If we look back only twenty-five years, the number of people suffering from adrenal stress was estimated to be around twenty percent of the total test sample. Now it’s over ninety percent. Yet this worrying increase in adrenal stress cases has gone largely unnnoticed. We could describe it as an epidemic because it’s so widespread yet it remains for the most part an invisible condition. The symptoms have become so familiar that people rarely notice that anything is wrong. Until we cross a fine threshold and the body rebels as our health begins to suffer. The rewal quaetion in the face of this dilemma is to ask whether we can do something about it.
And the answer is ‘Yes’. Most definitely – Yes.
Humans have been facing danger and uncertainty for hundreds of thousands of years. If we hadn’t successfully adapted to the stresses and dangers of life on the wild savannahs of ancient Africa, we simply wouldn’t be here today. Evolutionary biologists have estimated that our modern stress response probably developed around fifty to sixty thousand years ago. The increase in adrenaline and cortisol levels, blood diverted from the digestive system, senses focused narrowly on the threat or danger – all the familiar symptoms of the human stress response. But this very expensive defence mechanism was only intended to last for a few minutes – long enough for our distant ancestors to face the threat or escape. It was a life-saving response to a potentially lethal threat. Once the danger was past, our ancestors engaged a simple mechanism to disarm the stress levels in their bodies. Despite all of our technological sophistication, this response is still very much hard-wired into all humans today. Our ancestors would breathe out heavily, probably grunting loudly as they exhaled, and they would relax their shoulders. This powerful signal switched off the stress response and restored our ancestors to normal, optimal functioning. And the same instinctive method works just as well today as it did fifty thousand years ago. Our bodies are essentially the same today as they were back then. The method triggers the same ancient responses that equipped our ancestors to let go of their stress in only a minute or two. That’s how they survived. Try it for yourself. Breathe out deeply – loudly if you prefer! – and relax your shoulders. It’s so incredibly simple, so deceptively low-tech, yet so dramtically effective. Use it whenever the first hints of stress creep into your posture. It’s a game changer and one of the most natural and powerful mechanisms for taming your stress response. And it’s absolutely free.
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