Stress = Force/ Area
Think literally for a minute about your body as a solid object governed by Newtonian Physics. The body as an object seeks constant equilibrium, and often finds it. How can we aid our body in maintaining the balance essential to feeling good?
The equation above gives all the answers, in proper Newtonian fashion. Stress equals a Force that needs to be balanced over an Area large enough to balance it. The Area becomes the places that we can spread out the Force of Stress and diffuse the pressure of modern life. What are the Areas in your life you use to diffuse stress? Look to meditation, time alone, exercise, family, intimacy, sex, reading, massage, acupuncture, counseling, baths, yoga, vacation, down time, friends, nature, and journaling as potential areas to consider for this kind of equation. Wine/ beer/cocktails, pot, white powder drugs, valium, ativan, television and eating are also common “areas” used to relieve stress ~ but these all have additive and addictive elements that create additional stress in a cyclic fashion.
Sometimes a Force in our life suddenly escalates – while the basic life Stress and Areas we balance it with stay the same. This force acts like a nailgun driving the nail of stress into your health. Therefore, it is imperative in times of high stress like a family illness, death, marital problems, a significant move or an exam period to reduce the force of other stresses and increase the area to contain them! During these periods of spiked pressure, improving nutrition is an important way to decrease oxidative stress and add another area of health to your equation. Simple changes like reducing sugar and coffee and increasing green vegetables and whole grains will make a big difference in the way your body reacts.
We all have stress – it’s a fundamental component of life. Even on a desert island with perfect weather, abundant food and no work, stress would present (eventually.) We are made to withstand stress, and even thrive in stressful environments. But when the Force of Stress cannot be spread over a large enough Area, or when Stress escalates in addition to basic Forces, equilibrium is lost and physical, mental and emotional health problems ensue.