The Origin of Stress

We often talk about stress and relaxation. News in magazines are filled with statistics of burn-out, illnesses and other misfortune due to what is called stress. Stress has been defined and redefined during the last 80 years (by physiologist Walter Cannon in 1939 and Hans Seyle in 1950) and still is a matter of debate on its origin and manifestation in our body. The classic view of stress is a three step process by which some external events or memories triggers a series of body reaction that imbalance various regulatory processes thus overloading our capacity to regulate properly our mental and physical functions.

When stress is regularly triggered for days and weeks, it can lead to permanent damage of organs and their function, which in turn have impact on out psyche. This is called chronic stress. Loss of energy, fatigue and bad sleep can appear as signs of chronic stress. Accelerated ageing process result as well with possible loss of memory capacity, diminished vision and skin problems.

 

So to summarise the stress phenomena, all starts with our sense perception (including our consciously or unconsciously recalled memories) and how we interpret these sensed phenomena. The interpretation of these events are always related to the past or future of our life. Indeed it is from our interpretation of these events (memories) and projected future events that we judge threatening that we will trigger the stress response.

The consequence of this is simply that the perceived passage of time is the main origin of stress. Taking this conclusion seriously, SATHeart approach is to refocus our mind into the moment, letting go of past and future. This is called yoga.

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