How horses release stress is a clue for us to do the same...
Horses are prey animals. Built into their natural system, is the ability to be uber aware of their environment, and to react immediately in flight if they sense danger.
When threatened, in an instant, their heads fly up, adrenaline releases and the survival part of their brain takes over. The energy of fear and danger, is delivered to the herd simultaneously, and off they go. They are designed for a quick stress response in order to survive.
So with all the data as to how stress makes us sick, why do we have the old idiom "healthy as a horse?
Horses also have a built in, innate, instinctual stress release process. The stress is valuable to create for survival, and then when the need for it is over, they release it.
When the danger has passed, horses snort, shake, roll, and then drop and graze which releases endorphins into their body, causing relaxation and recalibration to peace and awareness of the now, to again be in tune with their environment for survival.
Put more simply, they get that stress out of their bodies immediately and return to peace!
As humans, first we create stress with our thoughts all day long. Worry, fear, concern, reaction to others or events, traffic, icky co workers, etc etc etc, the list is endless. Negative thoughts to life's occurrences creates the same cortisol/adrenaline response in our brains and bodies. The big difference is, we hold onto it.
Techniques that are helping people move through PTSD, are now including a somatic aspect in addition to the talk therapy modalities. Equine therapy is fast becoming a highly successful antidote to PTSD. This is due to the natural "responsibility" of the horses to calibrate you to a state of peace and awareness, so to keep themselves safe. Having one unaware in the herd is not smart.
Stress makes us sick. Science has proven that. Things like mindfulness, meditation, and yoga are exploding as they actually help to release the held stress , or un moved through hormone residue, that comes from our thoughts.
Dr Peter Levine, a doctor very successful in healing trauma, brings patients through a vision process where their body creates the fear and stress, and then physically shakes it off the stress, just like the horses. It's a combination of what you are seeing in your mind, how you instinctively react, (and recognizing that) and your specific unique techniques for shedding that latent, long held darkness in the energy of your cells.
So today, simply notice when your thoughts are creating stress. Ask yourself what activity would help you to shed that heaviness, and feel lighter and more in flow.
One client, took her direction directly from the horses. She literally snorts like the horses and puts herself into a body shake when she feels the stress come on. It works great for her!
Bottom line, is that you have what it takes to not only learn how not to create your stress, but then if it happens, how to move through with ease.
The way out and up, is always through!