The body's anti-stress system
The body possesses a powerful anti-stress system, also called
the relaxation reaction. The system not only counters stress,
but also increases tolerance during strain. Like the stress system,
it involves complex processes in the hormone and nervous system.
It is an active counter to stress.
In an anti-stress state, you rest, and your body is recharged
and healed. This anti-stress system is activated by various types
of calming stimuli, e.g. closeness/intimacy, touching and social
support. In this state, peace and calm reigns, and energy is
used for constructive processes, in contrast to combustion in
the stress state.
Behaviour is typically characterised by openness and positive
interactions. Various positive experiences can trigger this positive
reaction in the body. This applies, for example, to positive
sensory impressions - touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.
During physical contact in a close relationship, the brain interprets
the surrounding world as good and supportive.
A good example of the operation of the anti-stress system is
the nursing mother. Put briefly, during every breast feed she
becomes more calm and socially interactive. During the breast
feed, the anti-stress system develops, and in some women these
changes become more or less constant and permanent.
Unfortunately, as a consequence of our lifestyle, the amount
of intimacy in the family can be reduced. This can be counteracted,
for example, by using 10 minutes' contact massage every day,
during a rest period. This can influence a child's behaviour.
For example, an unsettled boy can become less aggressive and
better socially adapted.
Two major changes have taken place in our society. Stress has
increased, and stimulation of the calming anti-stress system
has reduced. The latter is due, for example, to individual activities
such as watching TV and using PC's, and the workload at home
and at work.
Stress management is not just about reducing the level of stress,
but also actively stimulating the body's anti-stress system.
Physical eros factors
Physical stressors can trigger the stress state.
Examples of physical eros
Within StressAndEros, physical factors that stimulate the body's
anti-stress system are called physical eros
- positive sensory impressions:
touch: loving touch, massage
taste: delicious food
smell: nice smells
sight: aesthetic experiences
hearing: harmonic music
- light and fresh air
- healthy diet
- quietness and relaxation
- rest and sleep