Stress on the body comes in many different forms. Stubbing your toe can stress the body, as can an overexposure to the sun. Then comes the emotional stress we’ve all come to know so well. We’ve all experienced some form of elevated stress in our lives and when our bodies are stressed, we can actually physically feel it. Our cells can feel it too. The slight rise in temperature and the tension we feel is our cells going into emergency mode. Just like when we catch a virus, stress will trigger our cells to find the problem and to start the repair process in the affected part of the body. They spring into action and figure out what needs to be detoxified, what needs to be fixed and what the body needs to get rid of. In most circumstances, the cells will react the way they need to, the “stress” will be healed and things will go back to normal, but what happens to our bodies after prolonged exposure to stress? Simply put, things can go very bad.
When our cells are exposed to prolonged or chronic stress, their ability to function, heal, duplicate or detoxify starts to dramatically decrease. As our body tries to replenish the cells that die off under stressful conditions, it will create new cells that are better equipped to live in the stressed environment, but these cells can be weaker and more susceptible to infection. Prolonged stress can also decrease the cell’s ability to remove toxins, which can lead to a buildup of plaque. This excess waste in the cells can lead to heart attack, stroke or even worse, cancer. The list of health risks goes on and on when we look at what happens to our cells under stress, so something as simple as doing 30 seconds of breathing can oxygenate the cells, improve mood and relieve stress. While stress may be unavoidable in our day to day lives, when we know what it can do to our cells and ultimately our health, we can stop, take a deep breath and start to heal.