While there are many different potentially stressful stimuli occuring in the external environment outside of us, or in our internal environment – inside our skin they can be collapsed into only TWO prime categories – toxicity or deficiency. These stimuli in our lives initiate or cause us stress.
Environmental stressors are at the root of all non-homeostatic or adaptive (illness) physiology.
We can define such a negative stimulus as ANYTHING that either causes or indicates some form of deficiency and/or some form of toxicity for our body and/or mind.
We’re not only talking about a ‘chemical’ or ‘nutritional’ toxicity or deficiency here!
We are instead using the these terms to refer to any requirement for Vibrant Life.
And so, if your body is being poisoned by something it is not designed to have in its ‘ecosystem’ or it is not getting enough of what it needs then the body will be forced to adapt.
The domains or areas of potential requirements for life include Physical requirements, Biochemical requirements, Mental-Emotional requirements, Social requirements and more.
These requirements are determined by the genetic blueprint that makes us human - they are identical for all of us (species-wide, and species-specific)
Remember that a stressor in this context is some type of ‘negative’ input that cause our body to adapt and change how it functions away from the ideal or homeostatic norm. Away from ideal cellular health and normal function.
These changes may be intelligent responses by our body to keep us alive, or give us time to change the stimulus that is causing stress to our body, but they are not actually 'healthy.'
We pay a ‘price’ for that adaptation, and it accumulates with time.
Your body will experience stress (and begin to adapt) ANY time it experiences either a DEFICIENCY in something it is programmed to need, OR a TOXICITY – a poisoning – where it is being exposed to something that it is NOT designed to experience or tolerate.
Of course, a stressor could have elements of both too!
For more on the body’s reaction to Stress.