Health & Happiness through Hormesis
Health– a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Happiness– the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.
Hormesis– the adaptive responses of biological systems to moderate environmental or self-imposed challenges through which the system improves its functionality and/or tolerance to more severe challenges.
Hormesis, in simpler terms, is the process of reducing fragility by improving resilience. All forms of life need a certain amount of stress in order to function properly. If we remove all stress from our lives, our muscles, immune system, minds and relationships will deteriorate. Finding the right balance between stress and relaxation is important.
We have many tools available to us in the modern world. We can take a painkiller, adjust the temperature, or adjust our thermostat if it is too hot. If we are hungry, we can indulge. We have become accustomed to comfort, and are averse to discomfort. But our bodies and brains thrive with the right amount of stress.
Imagine an injury that is stagnant and needs to be healed. A controlled dose of inflammation can trigger a healing reaction. These stressors help our bodies to adapt and become more resilient. Hormesis refers to the exposure of the body to stressors over time.
The Power of Hormetic Living
The H3 philosophy is all about embracing stress in a strategic way so we can be the best version of ourselves, and create the relationships and lifestyles we want. The hormetic power is not external, but is a part of our DNA that is waiting to be woken up.
Romans 5:3-4 is a wise passage that captures the essence of hormesis. “Not only this, but we also glorify our sufferings, because we know suffering produces perseverance. Perseverance creates character. And character, hope.” This ancient verse highlights the power of adversity to transform and grow.
We must acknowledge that in our pursuit of happiness and health, the road to true well-being involves accepting stress and challenges with moderation. Happiness is not simply the absence from sadness, nor is health merely the absence of disease. We can achieve our full potential by incorporating hormesis in our lives. It will strengthen our resilience and help us to thrive in a world of both comfort and adversity. Let’s acknowledge the wisdom in our bodies and minds and harness the power for us to be the best version of ourselves.