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Why Stress?

The stresses of life may take many and varied forms. The death of a spouse or a close relative, a divorce, getting fired, making a change like moving, paying on your mortgage, all are stressful. Even pleasant events like a marriage, getting promoted, Christmas or driving a car are also stressful. Stress is common to us all - business executives, factory workers, teachers, repairmen, mothers and children. Stress can come from painful experiences as it can also result from pleasure. No one is immune to stress.

Stress results from an event or a situation that places physical/psychological demands upon you. When stress occurs, whether due to a happy or unhappy event, complex physiological reactions occur in the body that prepare one to "fight or flight." These age-old responses date from prehistoric times when either fighting or fleeing were the answers to the problems of life in the jungle. In contemporary society we seldom actually run or attack in response to stresses, so the resulting bodily preparedness for dangers often remains unabaited.

To understand how relaxation can be accomplished, we must first understand what happens when we become tense.

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