Why is sanctuary so important? Let's talk about stress....
Stress is actually good for the body in small amounts. Small but consistent exposures to a stressor cause our body to react in a way that is beneficial to our health. We call this hormesis. Persistent stress however, wears down our mind, body and immune system. This wear and tear from stress is something we can measure, it's called the allostatic load and the higher the allostatic load, the higher the risk of most chronic diseases and immune function.
Our body is designed to adapt to what the environment and situation throw back at us. The more stressful the environment the more your body fires up to fight the fire. As a consequence, however, over time your body forgets how to relax. We end up in a perpetual state of fight or flight with no rest and digest. Let's face it, this continues to be the picture of modern living.
For anyone who works with our team we insist that they must find a time, place, person etc where they can experience that daily sanctuary. We have seen numerous examples of executives who are overly stressed at work and then come home to a stressful household. In these cases, the stress response never switches off and people never get the chance to relax, repair and recuperate. You can never be healthy in this situation.
Daily sanctuary is such a simple but powerful health intervention. You need to find it! What is it that allows you to relax? A couple of chapters of a great book, the nature experience, a phone call with a friend/relative, listening to your favourite music, going for a walk, doing some meditation? This is for you to find. The more sanctuary you have, the more balanced your stress response will be and the healthier your immunity will be.