Stress – the enemy of the 21st century

nature's stress buster

Stress – the enemy of the 21st century

Did you know?

Stress affects people physically, mentally and emotionally.  Studies carried out by the American Institute of Stress led them to state that “up to 90% of all health problems are related to stress”.  Positive stress is when people feel ‘keyed up’ and generally produce their best.  Negative stress can contribute to and agitate many health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, depression, mental confusion and sleep disorders.

How stressed are you?

Everyone responds to stress differently.  Try this quick test to identify the areas where you are experiencing stress.

o   I feel overly tired or fatigued.

o   I’m often nervous, anxious or depressed.

o   I have sleep problems.

o   I have repeated headaches or minor aches and pains.

o   I worry about job security, financial obligations or relationships.

o   Read more (link to website)


You have already taken the first step: you have recognised and accepted you experience stress.  The main cause of stress are life events.  It’s not life events that do you harm; it’s the way you respond to them.  It’s learning to separate what you think and how your feel about them.  It’s how you feel about them that determines whether you become stressed or not.

Emotions are usually considered to be either positive or negative.

Positive emotions such as appreciation, care and love not only feel good, they are good for you.  Hence the phrase, ‘happy hormones’ which include endorphins, dopamine and serotonin.  Researchers claim that “they help your body’s system to synchronise and work better, like a well-tuned car”.

Negative emotions such as sadness are caused by hormone such as estrogen, progesterone and melatonin.  Theses hormones can change dramatically monthly or seasonally and may be major players in the chemistry of depression.

Incidentally, there is a batch of ‘love’ hormones including dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine which increase when two people fall in love.  Dr Pat Mumby of Loyola University Chicago, states, “Falling in love causes our body to release a flood of feel-good chemicals that trigger specific physical sensations.  This internal elixir of love is responsible for making our cheeks flush, our palms sweat and our hearts race”.

Back to our feelings, or emotions, they are important messengers that have something important to say to us; they tell us how we feel about events.  Knowing how we feel about an issue is just as important as to know what we think about it.  Each emotion has its own specific message that invites us to take a particular course of action.  Knowing what the message is and the course of action being invited is essential.  Not taking action and resolving the issue leads to a long-term presence of these hormones in your system with obvious consequences.

As we know, emotions are held in the body where they have to make their presence known – otherwise we wouldn’t know they were there!  That presence is usually an unpleasant one that has a powerful impact on the body.  Long term presence of these so-called ‘negative’ hormones is detrimental to our well-being.