Why “Bad Stress” Is No Good

May 18, 2020

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Stress, according to the World Health Organization, will be one of the, if not the biggest, contributor to human morbidity and mortality by the end of the year—scary prediction.

Now not all stress is bad stress. we have “eustress” and that is the thing that gets things done, providing optimum efficiency. It is however when we push past this peak and we run into “distress,” which is damaging to us.

What does bad stress do to us?

  • At a cognitive level, it affects memory, our ability to judge, and our concentration, leading to brain fog, indecision, and self-doubt. (I am especially certain of the last one.)
  • At an emotional level, it causes or contributes to overwhelming panic, anxiety, catastrophization, depression and low moods, fatalistic thinking, cynicism, frustration and anger.
  • At a physical level, high blood pressure, chest pains, rapid pulse, skin disorders, pain (emotional and physical), and immune-system depression are possibilities.
  • Stress causes inflammation. Most diseases start with inflammation.
  • At a behavioral level, bad stress causes us to sleep too little or too much, feel demotivated, humorless, and lead us to self-medicate with addictions to food, caffeine, alcohol, smoking, recreational and hard drugs, prescribed drugs and what have you.

None of the above is good for you—agree?

A black and white collage of a winged man looking anxious.

“El Soñador” by Rachel Derum

Rather than focus, as so many do, on the problem, I’d like to offer you a solution to stress and how to choose to never have to be inappropriately stressed again. Are you up for it?

With your finger, draw the lemniscate pattern on the forehead for a count of 20-30 seconds. By stimulating the third eye point we are activating both the pituitary and pineal gland, which will result in oxytocin release. Oxytocin is ‘the’ antidote to cortisol—the stress chemical—and cancels it out immediately.

This, like breathwork, is one of the most powerful techniques I have discovered to maintain a stress-free life. The technique is simple and as such both we, and our clients, have no excuse not to apply it.

This exercise will be the first element of an app I’m cocreating designed to handle many areas of mental health issues.

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