What is Stress, and what is Wellness?

Wellness

Wellness is a choice – a decision you make to move towards optimal health. It does not matter where you are on the illness/wellness continuum – it only matters what direction you are moving in NOW. Lets get you going in the right direction.

You can be well whether healthy or sick.

Wellness is a dynamic process of becoming aware of and making conscious choices toward a more balanced and healthy lifestyle. It is a process – its starts with developing awareness of yourself and your habits, and leads towards education, practice and growth. High level wellness involves giving good care to your physical self, using your mind constructively, expressing your emotions effectively, being creatively involved with those around you, and being concerned about your physical, psychological and spiritual environments.

Stress

Stress is frequently perceived as the level of tension people feel is placed on their minds and spirits by the demands of their jobs, relationship and responsibilities.

However, stress is not just a response you feel emotionally; it results in a series of physiological and psychological reactions. Although our mental and emotional bodies are the first to feel stress, it is ultimately our physical body that takes the brunt of the impact.

What happens in our body
when we experience stress?

Stress sets off an alarm in the brain, which in turns prepares the body for defensive action – this process is known as fight or flight. First the nervous system is aroused, which then releases a hormone called cortisol into the system that sharpens the senses, quickens the pulse, deepens respiration and tenses the muscles – in essence, these hormones makes us stronger, smarter and faster so that we can escape danger.

Fight or flight was great in the days of sabertooth tigers, but today is has become a concern because any threat, imagined or real, triggers the fight or flight response. Triggers can include traffic, deadlines, your cell phone, funny looks from your boss, the news, you name it. When the body stays in flight or flight too often, some very important functions that keep your body health begin to shut down – too much stress can effect your digestion, reproduction, growth, tissue repair, inflammatory systems and most importantly, your immune system.

  • 70-90% of Americans have
    reported feeling stressed at
    work or home.
  • 48% of Americans say that their stress has increased over the past 5 years