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The Stress Connection

May 25, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 159

So, you say, "I have heard that stress is bad for me and even causes disease, and when the doctors can't find a reason for why I am feeling ill, they say, 'It's probably stress'."

But do you actually know what is behind all the claims that stress is bad for you and causes disease? Some stress, stress that is motivating, can even be good for you. Well, I've believed in the stress connection for many years, but I never really got the physical reasons. The fact that stress is now being accepted as the basis for many illnesses, told me I might look into what's physically behind it all. I did, and here's what I've found.

Simply put, stress comes from perception. Stress only exists because we perceive something to be more than we can handle.

What is perceived as stress to one person can actually be considered joyful or exciting to another. How about giving a speech at a political convention? --Some people thrive on this, while others would feel sick for a month if they had to even contemplate the idea. It is not the event. It's not the situation. It's not the environment. It's not even the traffic---or your neighbor---that cause your stresses. It's simply how you see 'it'. Even in major disasters, there are those who can allow the energy to flow and see the event from a higher perspective, not letting themselves be caught up or affected, even if they are in great hardship themselves.

So, does this look like stress may indeed be within our immediate control? It appears so, but there's a little more to it. I'll take you through that now.

Let's take a look at the brain, starting with that part called the amygdala. The amygdala decides where our experiences should be sent for processing. Its big job is to keep us safe. It actually searches out items that are similar to past experiences so they can be avoided or dealt with as we did in the past. If it perceives danger, it alerts the hypothalamus, and this is where we arrive at an elegant cascading effect in the body called the "HPA Axis" or the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis. This is where the body receives the effects of our perceptions---where it gets hit by our stresses. The HPA axis is necessary for our survival, but evolution has not yet caught up to our present day lifestyle. Instead of acting, saving ourselves and releasing that stored up energy, as the brain is programmed to do, we remain in a state of tension, with worries and emotions stuck inside and no outlet for release.

So, when a threat is perceived, (Here we are talking about anything from major assault, to the boss being in a bad mood, to someone just giving us a 'look.') the amygdala needs to initiate protective action. It sends a signal to the Hypothalamus which alerts the Pituitary that something needs to be done -now- for personal safety. The pituitary then sends a signal to the Adrenals which release their hormones to constrict blood vessels to the internal organs and to the front of the brain which enables the extremities to be ready to fight or run and allows the back of the brain to act on instinct. With these hormones circulating throughout the body, the blood pressure and heart rate rise. Digestion shuts down. Immune function, hunger, thirst, reproductive ability and ability to sleep decrease. Cortisol and sugar are released into the blood. We hold onto weight. (Yes, holding onto stress does cause weight gain.)

As Dr. Bruce Lipton states in his book, The Biology of Belief, we can be in either growth-and-repair-mode or we can be in protection-mode---not both. As you see above, stress puts us in protection mode. If we have to run or fight, we can't spend time repairing, sleeping or enjoying and digesting our dinner and, for that matter, reproduction and sexual function aren't top priority either. So, what else happens when we are under stress? Along with not sleeping, our muscles don't relax. Thyroid function decreases. The cells, being in protect-what-we-have mode hold onto toxins and don't take in nutrients. We don't need to think, we need instinct so the back of the brain--sometimes called the reptilian brain--is activated, while the front of the brain is turned down. Our thought processes get muddled. We function in a fog.

Now, as you know, survival is #1 on anyone's life list. We may just not be all that effective on the planet if functioning from the outer realms. But because our subconscious brain perceives threat or no threat with no in betweens, all of these survival processes are activated each time we have that fear of the boss's moods or get into a traffic jam, or our computer breaks down just when we need it most. The fight/flight reactions come up but with no immediate outlet. We no longer live in a run-to-safety or fight-our-way-out world. So we hold ourselves in a state of tension, always waiting to leap off the starting mark. These hormones keep circulating in our bodies. In the long run, waiting at that start signal, we exhaust ourselves.

In a constant state of fight or flight, our adrenals become exhausted, our tolerance is lowered, past traumas surface, anxiety, panic attacks and headaches are exacerbated, leading to low self esteem and to depression. Feeling down, we reinforce this with negative self talk, we perceive more things negatively, so anxiety goes up, stress goes up, which can lead to poor diet, poor self care, substance abuse, more lowering of immune function, cutting down gut flora, inhibition of white blood cell production, a depletion of minerals and nutrients, causing the body to become acidotic. With that, minerals are taken from the bones to reakalize the blood. Along with this, the immune system can become confused. Autoimmune diseases and allergies can develop because the immune system no longer knows what it is protecting.

So, folks, is all this in your immediate control? I won't go that far, but I will say that your best choice may be to clear as much stress as you can from your mind and body. Allow life to carry you as if on a soft cloud. EFT/Matrix Reimprinting energy work is one direction which has been scientifically proven to make a difference.

Source: EzineArticles
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