Stress. Who isn’t stressed these days? Absolutely no one. Melanie’s the guest on her own show in this episode inspired by a New York Times article on smart phones and stress.

Do you know that stress really does affect everything else in our lives, from how we feel when we wake up (how’d you sleep last night, by the way?) to how we interact with too fast or too slow drivers around town?

Stress has a major affect on our health, wellbeing and happiness. It’s an important component of almost decision we make all day long, all our lives. Stress contributes to anxiety, sadness, anger, brain fog, rational thought, self-control and our decision-making abilities. It’s a contributor to serious health problems.

Basically, stress can make us miserable.

The article states that “cortisol is our primary fight-or-flight hormone. Its release triggers physiological changes, such as spikes in blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar, that help us react to and survive acute physical threats.

“These effects can be lifesaving if you are actually in physical danger — like, say, you’re being charged by a bull. But our bodies also release cortisol in response to emotional stressors where an increased heart rate isn’t going to do much good, such as checking your phone to find an angry email from your boss.

“If they happened only occasionally, phone-induced cortisol spikes might not matter. But the average American spends four hours a day staring at their smartphone and keeps it within arm’s reach nearly all the time … . The result, as Google has noted in a report, is that ‘mobile devices loaded with social media, email and news apps create ‘a constant sense of obligation, generating unintended personal stress.’”

The good news? There’s lots of it in the 2nd half of the show, including the idea of being with beauty to help calm our nervous systems down.

As Terry Tempest Williams wrote, “Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find.” (in Finding Beauty in a Broken World)

Listen in for more ideas about calming down our stress response.

Dr. Melanie Harth’s website here