Like being constantly busy, feeling stressed has almost become a badge of honour in our society – a commodity which we trade in order to empathise and impress each other in equal measure. Sadly, poor stress management has a dark downside – it’s incredibly dangerous for our mental and physical wellbeing. And our tendency to downplay, or overlook, the physiological changes this natural reaction causes in our bodies often stops us from taking action before we burnout.
Neil Shah, Chief De-Stressing Officer at The Stress Management Society in London, says stress is “a useful and necessary response” to changes in our environment which kept us safe from physically dangerous situations as primitive creatures. “It’s a natural instinctive survival mechanism based on a flight or fight response,” he explains. “It’s not that stress is bad for us. It’s that the way we use stress in modern life is counter-productive. There’s no outlet so it gets stuck in our system.”
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