stressed and worried

stressed and worried (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all know stress is bad for us but how does it really work and why can it make us sick. Stress from our environment causes us to release a hormone called glucocorticoids that causes epigenetic changes in our body. When we think of caveman days, we see why this was important. It caused us to prepare for either a fight or flight situation. Our mood changed, our adrenalin increased and our bodies were preparing for a stressful event. In those days the event ended and if we survived it the stressful environment was gone. Our bodies lowered the stress hormone and everything returned to normal again. Today we get stress from work, relationships, our kids, etc. We can’t fight or run from it so the stressful environment stays around for years. This causes the stress hormone to keep being released. This can lead to mood disorders and illness. It is like brakes on your car. They are meant to stop you in an emergency. If you ride your brakes and use them too often, they can fail you when you need them most causing a disaster.