Stress is something we all experience, and indeed the theory of ‘Eustress’ suggests a bit of stress is vital to help drive us get things done, to perform and generally knock it out of the park with a big project. But here’s the thing and I want you all to take heed – continued periods of stress damages your body. Not just in a ‘oh gosh I had a stressful week’ but in an actual physical way. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that what is happening in your brain can affect your physical body – but it does.
Most of you have the science of this floating around in your memories somewhere. It's the ‘fight or flight’ response: we’ve all heard of it. You get stressed and your body prepares for war, or running away by releasing Adrenaline, Cortisol, Norepinephrine. But then perhaps after a long day, you switch off your computer and go home for the evening, still worrying about this big project: that adrenaline is still coursing around your body and it is not doing you any good. It's inhibiting other systems of digestion, growth, reproduction and the immune system (because as far as those hormones know there’s still a bear chasing you so they are only worried about getting you ready to run – not to digest you food properly or deal with your cold). In this way stress hormones can damage your immune system and lead to digestive problems, not to mention overworking the heart.
So what do you need to do? You need to look after yourself my friend: