Do you think stress has been around since the beginning of time?
Most have heard the creation story in the Bible.
My question is...
Did stress exist in the Garden of Eden?
We read in Genesis 1 that God made man and woman in His image. He gave us dominion over all animals. He gave us plants to eat.
All was good.
(If you would like to hear the rest of the story instead of reading it- I share the video version here.)
Nothing is written at this point to make us believe that Adam and Eve were stressed.
In Genesis 2, it starts with God finishing His work, and on Day 7, shows us the importance of rest. We will save that discussion for another day.
In verse 2:7, I find it interesting that God formed the physical body first. We see this still today within the womb- the physical body is completely formed before we take our first breath.
“Then...breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
Breath- brings our physical body to life.
I was curious about why we are told He breathed into his nostrils. Why is this important?
I believe that our breath connects our spiritual body to our physical body and though one day our physical body will die, our spiritual body will continue on. Again, a deeper discussion for another day.
Let’s continue through verses 8 & 9. God put man in the garden He planted. He made this garden to be both pleasing to the eyes and good for food. In the middle of the garden was the Tree of Life- a tree that bore fruit that kept the physical body alive on earth forever. There was also the Tree of knowledge of good and evil.
To be human is to have free will. To have free will, one must have choices to choose from. God gave Adam and Eve lots of choices to choose from- only one did He say would bring them death.
He also put Adam in the garden to work it and take care of it.
Note: From the beginning, we were created to work.
Then God created woman from man and in verse 25 “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”
Now, what does all of this have to do with stress?
I believe that up to this point, stress was not an issue. Why? Because Adam and Eve did not feel shame. We will dive more into shame later.
Let’s skip ahead for just a minute to verse 3:8 and look at what it might have been like to live in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve worked the garden and ate from the garden and they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.
From this scripture, I believe they had a relationship with God- one where they talked and walked with God daily.
How do you feel when you walk through a garden? ￼
That was a question I asked the women in my Fill My Cup FB Group for women who feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and worn out.
This is what they had to say: peaceful, thankful, serenity, peace from God’s hand, happy. Beauty! Peace. Tranquility. Marvel at God’s creation! Fun. Most of the women said, "peaceful."
Back to my original question: Did stress exist in the Garden of Eden?
At this point in the creation story, I believe we were created to live without stress.
In our physical body, this is when our Nervous System is in what is called the Parasympathetic State.
It’s also known as the Rest, Digest, and Recover State.
On my Stress Continuum sheet, I call this the
Blue Zone - Cool, Calm, and Collected.
This is where you feel good. Feel love. Feel peace. This is when your spiritual heart, emotional heart, and physical heart are all connected-harmony.
You can still move into the sympathetic state while being in the Blue Zone- this is called Eustress- this is a high-performance state- you may feel you are in the zone- some call it the flow state.
Eustress- Eustress means beneficial stress—either psychological- excitement, physical -exercise, or biochemical/radiological (hormesis).
The term was coined by endocrinologist Hans Selye, consisting of the Greek prefix eu- meaning "good", and stress, literally meaning "good stress".
The goal of living in the Blue Zone is to create harmony between “relaxation” and “focus,” which means when your body is in a flow state, it can generate just enough arousal from the sympathetic system to focus, while simultaneously engaging your parasympathetic system so that you feel relaxed and restored.
For me, I compare it to the state I feel between awake and asleep.
In other words, the flow state is the optimal balance between your sympathetic (“fight-or-flight”) and parasympathetic (“rest-and-recover”) system.
I’ve heard this explained as the Goldilocks principle- and using the analogy of turning on a faucet to get the water to the “just right temperature” you need the right amount of cold water (parasympathetic) and the right amount of hot water (sympathetic) to achieve the “just right temperature.” (Flow)
Because every individual is different, that optimal balance will look different and be achieved differently for everyone.
I called this the Blue Zone for several reasons. You will see that this Zone is actually split and the right side is the side we are focusing on now.
At the beginning of my health and wellness journey, I learned about a book called The Blue Zones - based on research about different areas of the world that have the healthiest and longest-living populations and studied what they had in common.
I was curious? I wanted to know what Author, Dan Buettner found. He concluded that all blue zone areas shared nine specific lifestyle habits that they call the Power 9®.
In the last 10 years, he has written The Blue Zones Solution, Thrive, and The Blue Zones of Happiness. When I say we are living in the Blue Zone, we are thriving.
I don’t know about you, but I want to thrive.
How much time do you spend in the Blue Zone?
By the way, for those that live in the Blue Zones, healthy choices are the default choices.
Location isn't the main factor. It's more about habits; Buettner believes it's never too late to start living like the people of the "Blue Zones."
That’s my mission to help a million women live a life of less stress (live in the blue zone) and have the energy to do the things they love to do with those they love.
I call it living an exceptional life.
So what do these blues zone people have in common: They mainly eat a plant-based diet. They walk and they garden.
Which one of these 3 things could you do today to help bring you into the Blue Zone?
I believe every woman (and man too) was created to live an exceptional life. Not a perfect life without stress or hard circumstances, but a life of less stress and more energy to do the things they love with those they love.
Are you curious where you spend the most time on the stress continuum? Find out here.