Whilst visiting Hobart (between the delicatessen’s and MONA) I had the pleasure of meeting Professor Hayek from the Australian College of Health and Wellness. Professor Hayek is the Dean of Higher Education, and was kind enough to discuss the physical, emotional and chemical processes of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is not only a process that affects our physical condition and appearance as we age, it is systemic. It occurs throughout the entire body and affects every single cell. This point isn’t interesting in itself, it is reasonable to deduce that when the body is under stress, i.e. you are hot, and so your cells are under stress, a process triggering oxidative stress occurs. Oxidative Stress is the byproduct of a cell under pressure that is unable to in a sense ‘calm’ itself. Superoxide Dismutase or ‘SOD’ is responsible for minimising the effects and ‘switching off’ Oxidative Stress.
Oxidative stress is constantly occurring due to the environment we live in and toxins we are exposed to; pollution in the air, caffeine, alcohol, preservatives in foods and drinks, pesticides used on vegetables and fruits. All these things are chemical triggers for oxidative stress. Other trigger include physical; i.e. sports, bad posture, impact, and emotional .
I was intrigued by Prof. Hayek’s confirmation that Oxidative Stress (remember it affects every cell) can be triggered by emotional stress; a bad day at work, negative thought processes, feeling stressed, unwell, under pressure or a heated conversation. The emotional impact triggers a biological response that is systemic. This is why when we find ourselves in times of a heightened emotional state, we often get unwell or have an old injury that reoccurs, or a complete meltdown. The relationship between stressors – physical, emotional and chemical, and our overall wellbeing, is undeniable. Knowing this we can try to minimise triggers (both internal and external) that induce a reactive and volatile condition within ourselves.