Is stress an unconscious addiction … or just a choice? Either way – is it good, or is it always bad for you?
What daily stressors cause your muscles to get tense, your heart rate and respiration to increase? How much time do you spend stressed?
Are You Addicted to Stress?
The irony is that many of us have become addicted to stress. There is “good stress” and “bad stress” meaning, we experience certain stressful experiences as unpleasant and try to avoid them, while conversely, some people seek out stress because they think it is fun. For example, snowboarding, skydiving, rollercoasters, and scary movies are experiences that may flip your fun-switch – even though physiologically your body reacts to stress in the same way as if a wild animal were chasing you.
Your muscles get tense, your heart rate and respiration increase, and your body halts many of its' non-essential processes. This can be exhilarating and addictive-you might know a person who is an “adrenalin junkie” like this. A person who can lose control, get a cheap thrill, in an environment where he or she feels safe. But in this heightened state of arousal 24/7, stress takes a toll on anyone's body – whether or not they think of the stress as good or bad.
“Stress is not a state of mind … it's measurable and dangerous, and humans can not seem to find their off-switch.”
This warning is from restructured author and award-winning neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky in the documentary Stress: Portrait of a Killer . This fascinating film was produced by National Geographic and Stanford University. Dr. Sapolsky is a professor at Stanford; he does an excellent job explaining the dangers prolonged stress has on our body and mind.
As humanity evolved, our natural stress response protected us by providing all human beings the opportunity to escape from predators. It also saves humans the ability to kill prey. Today, this “life-saving” response triggers within us over modern-day activities-dealing with over priced gasoline, fear of public speaking, demanding bosses, and horrible traffic, etc … and we have a very difficult time turning it off . It's become an accepted lifestyle.
We definitely need an “off-switch” for stress!
Chronic stress poses us to caustic hormones-constantly! The impact stress has on our body is measurable: it causes our brains to shrink, adds fat to our bellies, and even “unties” our chromosomes. Understanding the negative impact of stress is the first step in finding ways to deal with it. The next step, reduce stress.
Nature-it has a way of teaching us what we need to know …
Studying primates in Africa, Dr. Sapolsky has learned a great deal about how the human stress response affects our body. Each year, Dr. Sapolsky spends a weeks in the Kenyan wilderness studying baboon societies which have social and psychological commotion which resembles the stress of modern humanity-and has similarities of human DNA. (ScienceDaily.com reminds us that humans share over 90% of our DNA with our primary cousins.)
He monitors adrenal hormone levels, also called adrenalin or epinephrine, and glucocorticoids like cortisol. Baboons live in communities with hierarchical structures, and Dr. Sapolsky observes how baboon stress is related to hierarchy, or social status. In other words the higher a baboon's status, the stress is less. The lower the status, the higher the stress: Dr. Sapolsky discovered the low status “have-nots” of the baboon world experienced much higher heart rates and blood pressure than the “haves.”
His studies have shown that the treaties in the “have-not” monkeys had a buildup of plaque, restricting their blood flow, increasing heart attack risk. This was the first scientific discovery that stress was linked to failing health in wild primates. As it turns out, this is true for other primates-human beings.
40-Year Stress Study with Men
Professor Sir Michael Marmot performed a 40-year stress study in which he followed 18,000 men occupying various positions within the British Civil Service. His findings resembled what Sapolsky discovered in the baboons: the higher your status, the lower the risk for stress-related diseases.
Marmot found that men in the lowest employment grades were more likely to die prematurely than men with higher status-there is in fact a “social gradient” for mortality. Additional studies involving women had similar findings. But why would this be-what does your status have to do with your stress?
Our Loss of Control
Sapolsky explains how we are more vulnerable to stress if the following is true:
• We feel like we have no control
• We do not get adequate information (specific information of how bad the problem, or how long it will last, etc.)
• We feel we have no way out
• We interpret things as getting worse
• We have a lack of social support
Like baboons, people at the top of the social pyramid feel a greater sense of control because they are the ones who call the shots, as well as typically having more social connections and resources at their disposal. This result is less stress, which over the long run translates to lower rates of disease.
Bioenergy = Brain Health = Wellness for mind and body
Ever said, “I'm stressed-out” as an excuse to for forgetting something, or for making a mistake? Sure, most of us have. But it's important to recognize that chronic stress inhibits brain activity, damaging the brain, causing you to lose your ability to remember things. Stress can also accelerate aging by shortening your telomeres, these protect your genetic structure which regulates your cells age. Dr. Lissa Rankin, author of Mind Over Medicine stated: “Our bodies know how to fix broken proteins, kill cancer cells, retard aging, and fight infection. here's the kicker-those natural self-repair mechanisms do not work if you're stressed! ”
Now, just do not become stressed out by the way you choose to relate stress. Discover what works for you. Making good food choices and getting adequate amounts of sleep are a great for a wellness lifestyle. Break the cycle of chronic stress. Try some of these today:
• Regular physical activity
• Meditation: 10 minutes a day can help decrease your feelings of stress and worry.
• Bioenergy: In on our body's electrical system, the vital life energy that flows along invisible channels can be blocked. Bioenergy opens these channels so the energy can restore balance and nourish our brain with electrical nutrients.
• Yoga: Health benefits from regular yoga practice have been shown to decrease stress and improve immunity function and much more.
• Enjoying life.
• Being grateful.
• Spending time in nature.
• Listening to relaxing music.
• Having more fun.
• Accepting the things we can not change.
Dr. Sapolsky wrote that the following are common health conditions caused by or made worse due to chronic stress:
• Cardiovascular disease
• Sexual dysfunction
• Infertility and irregular cycles
• Frequent colds
Insomnia and fatigue
• Trouble concentrating
• Memory loss
• Appetite changes
• Digestive Problems
Bioenergy is based on our body's electrical system; within us vital life energy flows along invisible channels and can be blocked. Bioenergy opens these channels so the energy can restore balance and nourish our brain with electrical nutrients.
As Sapolsky's baboons demonstrated, stress is a significant factor regarding our state of health. The better we manage stress the higher our quality of life. We can take control, rather than allowing the stress of modern life to control us! Talk with Dr. Terry Rondberg about Bioenergy today.
Bioenergy is an efficient and effective choice for stress reduction.