Home CFB Borden Padre’s Corner Padre’s Corner: Stress, like a CBRN environment?

Padre’s Corner: Stress, like a CBRN environment?


I’ve been reflecting on stress, and how much it can seem to pile up.

I imagined the stresses were like a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) environment. To take the analogy further, you can put on the suit, wear the mask, drink through the straw, use the decontamination pads, etc. and they will allow you to operate in that environment for a time. But if we need to operate in that kind of environment for a longer time, we’ll need to change the environment. We’ll need to identify the external sources of stress and neutralize them – clear the air. First, put your mask on. Then, help the person next to you.

But even as I was imagining this analogy, a parallel reality came to mind. As much as we need tools to manage and even neutralize the toxins surrounding us, we also need to be aware of the toxins within. Our bodies can be exposed to so many toxins for only so long before we begin to feel the detrimental effects. Depending on the exposure and the specific toxins, maybe we can undergo some form of detoxification. But what about when it’s the stress toxin? What happens when it’s actually produced by our bodies?

Are we working to detoxify ourselves as well as neutralize the atmosphere around us? Are we making sure that we are not contributing to the CBRN/stress environment that others experience? What equipment do you need? What helps to detoxify you? Some resources that are available are: meditation, prayer, exercise, connecting with nature, journaling, therapy, positive internal dialogue, PSP Health Promotions courses, R2MR app, Chaplain Services, Health Services. It’s best to be well-equipped!

Whether it’s an external environment or an internal challenge (or both), unresolved stress is a threat. Let’s work towards a solution.

By: Lt(N) Shiya Janzen, Chaplain Course Director, Canadian Forces Chaplain School and Centre