HMP - How Stress Affects our Body and Mind

What happens when we stress

  • By Andy Fox

We’ve all seen panic in the supermarkets, and all manner of behaviour that we would never class as being in alignment with our values. Rather than judge people I felt what would be helpful is to explain what is happening inside our bodies and then give you a system that will help you reclaim your calm and be able to see clearly, make better decisions and ride the wave of emotion to a safer more balanced place.

The world events unravelling before us have triggered a stress response in a lot of people. And that’s completely understandable.

Like most of us, they’ve been running close to the edge and just trying to keep up has been an effort. Effectively you could say they emotionally have no petrol left in the tank.

What happens to our body when we Stress?

This stress response is a chemical cocktail of 1400 hormones and neuro-chemicals released into our bodies, amongst them are Adrenaline and Cortisol. This response is what we have come to know as ‘fight or flight’. It’s when our bodies prepare for the imminent emergency by;

  • Pumping blood to our extremities.

  • Turning off our thinking centres of our brain, so we can’t think.

  • Slowing down or stopping our digestion.

  • Stopping saliva in our mouth.

  • Speeding up our heart rate.

  • Stopping our bowels from emptying.

  • Dilating our eyes.

Let’s face it, you don’t need to think when a Saber Tooth Tiger is chasing you!!

The compound physical effects over time can be punishing to our health, with prolonged effects of stress causing some of the below conditions;

  • Reduced muscle mass.

  • Brain cell death.

  • Impaired memory.

  • Accelerated ageing.

  • Impaired mental function.

  • Diminished performance.

Read more about how stress affects you

I hope by now you can see the direct relationship of the behaviour of people today and the symptoms of stress.

If you have noticed any of these in your day to day life, you may be in a high stress state and a high-risk category.

How to recover from Stress.

Rather than focus on the negative I wanted to bring a level of awareness and to make sure we can give you an instantly actionable way to reduce your stress levels and get back to thinking straight and then putting more emotional petrol in the tank so you can absorb the current life challenges.

Here’s the process…

Step 1:

Focus your attention in the area of your heart. Imagine that your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual.

(Suggestion 5 seconds inhale and 5 seconds exhale).

Step 2:

Make a sincere attempt to experience a regenerative feeling like, appreciation, gratitude, care or love for someone or something in your life.

Step 3:

Stay with the breath and manage a constant pace, focus on the positive emotion and maintain for a minimum of 30 seconds to as long as you like.


  1. The longer and more often you practice, the more resilience to stress you will create.

  2. You can do this with your eyes open or closed.

  3. You can do this anywhere anytime.

  4. Use this before making decisions or going into a high stress environment.

  5. Use it before getting out of bed in the morning and then all day at work.

People who regularly practice this technique notice these flow on effects;

  • Enhanced ability to maintain composure during challenges.

  • Improves family and social harmony.

  • Reduces fatigue and exhaustion.

  • Promotes the body’s natural regenerative processes.

  • Improves co-ordination and reaction times.

  • Enhances ability to think clearly and find better solutions.

  • Increases intuitive intelligence.

Effectively the stress process and its negative effects are neutralised and you begin to build a buffer between you and the triggers in the environment, and with your ability to think clearly, you’ll make better decisions, be heathier and be way more resilient.

Try it now and let me know how it worked for you.

I hope you find value in this tool and it helps you like it has helped my team and I.

If you’d like to learn more, or if you need a hand managing deeper levels of Stress, Anxiety and Depression, feel welcome to reach out, we’re here to help you.

With effective tools like this and a positive mindset we can re-imagine life and craft a better world.

Andy Fox

Andy Fox - Author

I have a firm belief there is only one great challenge in life… And that is… To be the best version of you possible. I have lived my whole life to this tune. I love that I am not perfect and I love that every day I get up and make at least one change in my life that makes it better, one change that takes me closer to my life’s goals.

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