Dr. Hans Selye coined the word stress to describe the pressures we experience in our lives and the affect it has on our health and functioning.
I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Selye and visiting his lab where he kept all of the little white mice that he was experimenting with at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Dr. Selye devoted his life to the study of stress and he describes stress as any demand made on the body. He also said there are two kinds of stress which he called eustress and distress. We could call it good stress and bad stress or pleasant stress and unpleasant stress.
Therefore everything we experience causes stress, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant. Everything we do, hear, say, think or take into our minds and bodies in any way is work for the mind/body system. It all creates demands that require action on the part of the mind, the nervous system and other bodily systems.
Dr. Selye says that eustress is demands that are enjoyable and healing, like watching a beautiful sunset, participating in a happy harmonious relationship or doing our work if it is work that we love doing.
Therefore, according to Dr. Selye’s definition stress is an automatic part of living and necessary. It allows the mind and body to fulfill its purpose. It is part of a perfect system that works perfectly until we make more demands than it can handle. If we never overstressed ourselves we would be perfectly healthy and growing or evolving in a perfectly orderly way into greater and greater awareness of our innate talents and abilities.
If we lived our lives balanced between activity and rest, the mind/body system would be able to do its job perfectly during the day and then at night, while we sleep, it would have time to revitalize itself and be ready for the next day.
Distress occurs when we are having unpleasant experiences, when things do not go as we had hoped or when we continue to push the body beyond its ability to perform.
What we call stress is what Dr. Selye defines as distress. We only recognize stress when we have overstressed the system so much, and for so long, that it can no longer function properly. At this point we begin to see and feel the results of more pressure being put on us than we can handle.
Since we have not understood how the mind/body functions most of us overstress ourselves on a daily basis for most of our lives. Fortunately, our systems are very resilient and are able to heal the damage caused by the stress as soon as we provide the opportunity by giving it the needed rest.
Many years ago I put together a routine that when practiced on a daily basis releases the stress that gets stored in the cells of our bodies and heals the damage that has been done by the stress. It gives the body the opportunity it needs to be able to heal and revitalize itself, and once that healing occurs the system starts strengthening itself and we move into a much more advanced level of functioning.
The entire mind/body system is returned to homeostasis or a balanced condition and it is then able to evolve into higher levels of consciousness, understanding and experiences. It provides a complete reversal of one’s life from one of life getting harder and harder when overstressed to a life that gets easier and more enjoyable all the time.
I have described this process in detail and provided diagrams and step-by-step guidelines in my book entitled Unlimited Futures: How to Understand the Life You Have and Create the Life You Want. I have also created a CD, DVD and a Companion Workbook to help you get started releasing the stress and strengthening your entire mind/body system.
In addition we now have our complete Core Course on DVDs so you can experience this process, with a group of people we worked with in person, in the comfort of your own home. You may download a free introductory session of this course by simply clicking in the box on the side of this page requesting it.
Once you start experiencing this growth process, we also provide courses that you can attend to accelerate this natural evolutionary process.