Updated: Feb 15, 2022
This following statement most likely won’t come as a surprise; ongoing, chronic stress causes dis-ease and sickness. Yet the same, and this is less known, applies to not having enough stress in your life. Not enough short lived or acute stress to be specific.
In my previous article I explained that the combination of insufficient self-care education and an environment which is confusing our primal brain with its abundance of processed foods, screens and sedentary entertainment comes with an huge cost: bodymind imbalances, (dopamine) addictions, restlessness and a society filled with dis-ease.
So while we may reap the benefits in some areas, our technological advancement and progress are also slowly, but surely making us weaker and sicker.
Now the solution to this is not found outside ourselves, but rather within ourselves. In times where comfort has become the norm, we must somehow trick our bodymind by activating our biologically wired protection and adversity mechanisms related to short-term stress and challenge. Knowing how to do this and actually activating these mechanism frequently will not only make us more resilient and focused, it will also protect against cellular aging and related dis-ease.
Thus, an overarching strategy in our multidimensional system for Ultimate wellness is to deliberately invite several types of acute stressors in. Intermittently and inteliggently.
In some of my future articles I will dive into some of the most effective and powerful acute stressors you should explore and embed systematically into your life if true health + vitality are important for you.
But for now I want to share a few general key points that you must keep in mind when starting to reinvite acute stressors and challenge into your life:
1) Beware the nature of the stressor; perception is essential. Make sure the stressor is not so extreme that you cannot imagine that it will actually make you more resilient afterwards. Knowing that the discomfort is actually making you stronger, more resilient and more vital is key. This mindset will subsequently result in more of a challenge response than a fight or flight response.
2) Keep an eye on the duration. While the ideal duration depends on the nature of the stressor, 50 minutes or less would be safe and will not result in over secretion of so-called glucocorticoids (stress-related hormones).
3) Embed acute stressors gradually into your life. Too many stressors at once will have a detrimental effect and may in some cases even result in auto-immune disease.
4) Make sure to decompress and actually destress after the stressor.
Knowing this, start doing what over 95% of the modern homo sapiens aren’t doing; delibaretly, but intelligently (re)inviting discomfort in.
If you can’t wait to get started after having heard all this, here is my suggestion to get started now.. End your warm early day shower in a chilly fashion; end with 30 seconds cold water.
How cold? As chilly as you can handle.
In my next article I will dive deeper into the benefits, my personal experiences with consistent cold water exposure and how I plus several peer reviewed studies suggest to use it for the best results.
There is one last thing I want you to take home from this short article ; in human life, discomfort and unpleasantness cannot be escaped from. Therefore invite the kind that makes you grow. Train for it. Make yourself resilient so you have the ability to live and experience life to its fullest.
In health and vitality,
Niko Sati Nikolić