For the next few days I will talk about stress and relaxation. Stress is both a symptom and by-product of living a High Density Lifestyle, while being relaxed and calm is something easy to do when you’re living a Low Density Lifestyle.
Relaxation is one of the ingredients in the acronym FREE, which if you remember, stands for Flow/Relaxation/Effortless Effort. Living FREE means living a Low Density Lifestyle.
Life in the Fast Lane
When you are living life in the fast lane, you are putting your body under a lot of stress. There is only so long the body is capable of operating at a maxed out level—you can only burn your candle at both ends for so long, and then the inner flame starts to be extinguished.
Stress is all-pervasive in our modern fast-paced culture. I will return to this category time and time again, and I will also return to the category of relaxation many times over. Why, you may ask? Because it can’t be talked about enough. Stress puts you smack in the middle of living a High Density Lifestyle, and the longer you live that way, the worse things become.
So let’s look a little more in-depth at what stress is.
A Brief History of Stress
The term stress was coined by scientist Hans Selye in the 1930s based on his careful observation of physiological responses in laboratory animals. Selye later broadened his findings to include the human response mechanism to a perceived threat, or “stressor.”
Selye found that when he exposed various lab animals to unpleasant or harmful stimuli, there were three general stages of reaction. He called these the General Adaptation Syndrome, or GAS. The three stages were Alarm, Resistance and Exhaustion.
By the end of the third stage of GAS, Selye found the animals depleted of their body’s most important resources: their adrenal glands were fatigued, their autonomic nervous system was misfiring and their immune systems were burnt out.
Furthermore, it was found that this type of reaction played havoc on the feedback loop that constitutes the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the system that controls reactions to stress and regulates many body processes, including digestion, the immune system, mood and emotions, sexuality, and energy storage and expenditure.
Not everyone reacts to stressors in such a detrimental fashion, and there are times when stress can have positive attributes (Selye called stress that enhanced function eustress). But most people don’t cope well to stressors because they are on system overload, bombarded by stimuli and overwhelmed by life’s demands. Living in this manner is truly a major impediment to a Low Density Lifestyle.