STRESS EFFECTS ON HEALTH THE SILENT KILLER
STRESS EFFECTS ON HEALTH…THE SILENT KILLER
Stress side effects…stress effects on body
You may be wondering why it is stated that stress is the SILENT killer? It is silent because we, as a society, have become so habituated to stress. We rush around in the morning stressing over what to ware to work, breakfast, getting kids to school, traffic hold-ups, before we even get to work. We try to pack as much into the work hours as possible, fly about at lunch break eating as quickly as possible so as to get back on time, as women, we hurry home puzzling over what to make for tea, then have to cook it, and clear up Then there is the housework, kids homework, etc before we can relax. For men it is similar, but men tend to stress over different things-targets at work, promotion, getting a raise, whether they are going to get to the match at the weekend, what’s wrong with the car, bills etc. But it’s all stress. Stress has side effects. Long term tress effects on body are detrimental to wellbeing
We are all, for the most part, totally unaware that this is present for most of our day. It has become an unconscious habit. On top of this, there are issues in our lives that we worry about-money, relationship not happy, rows with friends, feelings of inadequacy, fear of rejection, feelings of not fitting in, not being deserving etc. All of these can be termed “stress effects on health…INTELLECTUAL AND EMOTIONAL”.
Then there are the PHYSIOLOGICAL stress effects on health… from toxins in the environment, pharmaceutical medications, food additives, pesticides, preservatives and colourings, stimulants such as caffeine and sugar, fluoride and chlorine in our water supply, carbon monoxide and other chemicals in our air, toxic residue from household products, makeup, fake tan, etc. The level of toxins in our bodies today is enormous, and has reached danger levels.
So how do we define stress?
Stress is a normal physiological (bodily) response to either a real or perceived (imagined) threat. The FIGHT OR FLIGHT response. It is an emergency programme the body adapts to aid our survival, and has been helpful to us for thousands of years. So, you mat say, why is it A SILENT KILLER? Because stress has side effects…
Stress is an emergency programme designed to save our lives in an EMERGANCY. We achieve this by creating hormones which instruct the body to prioritise certain bodily functions for survival in the moment, but close down others. The main hormones produced are Cortisol and Adrenalin.
Chronic Stress effects on body…
Cortisol affects the body by causing it to send blood and oxygen to the limbs (so we can run or fight), to the lungs, and to the brain, (mainly the automatic, unconscious part of our brain which runs the body) It causes the pancreas to dump lots of glucose (blood sugar) into the blood to give fuel for the physical exertion required. Cortisol shuts down the digestive system completely, and the healing and detoxifying processes, and hinders our intellectual ability to think and make decisions. We are on auto pilot. Survival mode. This works well to save our lives in the short term, but can you imagine the effect this has on our body, our immune systems and our reasoning ability in the long term? We are running this emergency programme throughout the whole day!! Day after day!
There are two “switches” in our brain and nervous systems-sympathetic and parasympathetic. They serve completely different functions. The sympathetic part of the autonomic (automatic) nervous system is there to get us into action, keep us awake, and get things done. It is the ACTION mode. Cortisol, being a stress hormone, switches this on to HIGH. The parasympathetic part causes relaxation. It tells the body to be quiet, inactive, to digest food, detoxify and repair our systems. It is responsible for sleep. It is the MAINTAINANCE mode. During stress this mode is affectively OFF. NO digestion, no repair, no detoxification, no rest! A very dangerous bunch of stress side effects if prolonged in our body..
Here are some other important stress effects on body…stress side effects…stress effects on health……
- Decreased absorption of nutrients from the gut. Even if you are eating a superb diet, absorption is minimal.
- Increased excretion of micro-minerals through bowel and bladder.(osteoperosis)
- Excretion of water soluble vitamins such as B and C.
- Increase in Cholesterol. One of the greatest causes of high Cholesterol is stress! It increases Cholesterol almost instantly. If you have your Cholesterol checked by your GP having had difficulty finding a parking space at the surgery, your blood Cholesterol will be temporarily up! The anti Cholesterol pharmaceuticals also cause physiological stress…they are very toxic-a double whammy!
- Increase triglycerides’ (fats in the blood) increasing risk of heat attack and stroke.
- Blood platelets responsible for blood clotting become sticky, and more likely to cause a clot-DVT, stroke and heart attack.
- Increases retention of salt, water retention and high BP.
- Decreased production of growth hormone-important for cell regeneration and healing.
- Reduced Thyroid function-one of the most important causes of low Thyroid function, leading to sluggishness, and low metabolism. The pharmaceutical treatments cause physiological stress.
- Increased inflammation, pain and loss of function.(due to toxicity)
- Increased oxidative stress-the main cause of premature aging.
- Cortisol causes the body to lay down fat-weight gain. Prolonged stress is one of the most important factors in gaining weight-especially around the stomach area.
- Prolonged stress leads to increased production of Insulin, and hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)and exhaustion…burnout syndrome
- Decrease in good gut flora-a very essential component of our digestive and immune systems.
The list goes on……………
Feel stressed about yet?!!
What can we do to reduce stress side effects, and eliminate our silent killer threat?
Abolish Chronic Stress effects on health…
There are many things we can address to help, but the first important thing is to become AWARE that you are stressed, and when. It is vitally important that we become aware of when our body is doing the stress response. It has become so much of an ingrained habit to most of us that we don’t realise we are doing it. It feels “normal” to have this going on all day.
For some unfortunate people the stress effect on body actually feels comfortable-because they have become so debilitated by prolonged stress taking its toll on the body, leading to near Burnout that they actually feel them NEED to be stressed to function at all. When they sit to watch TV or relax for a short while, they fall asleep! A sure sign of the dangerous stress effects on body, and a warning sign.
Once we become conscious of having stress, the single most effective thing we can do to get ourselves out of the sympathetic nervous system response and in to the parasympathetic healing response, is something so simple….taking deep breaths!!! This reduces the stress side effects instantly.
Just sit up, shoulders relaxed, and take ten slow deep breaths, and it instantly causes a change in the brain chemistry, and hence the body follows by going into parasympathetic mode. Just ten long slow effortless breaths can decrease stress, effects on body, increase your digestion, reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol and make you feel amazing, rejuvenated and relaxed.
Deep breaths before you eat your meal will aid you to enjoy and effectively digest and assimilate your meal. It will help relieve indigestion, and other digestive problems. Yu should take time over your meal-don’t rush it. Make your lunch break a time for tranquillity, for connecting with your higher self, and revitalizing your self. Take a short walk by the lake or in a park and breath deeply. Make meal times at home as calm and enjoyable as possible. Light a candle, play soft music, and take your time. Stop between courses for a break, and breathe. While you are chewing, become conscious of the flavour of your food. Eating consciously has been proven to help reduce weight, and we realise when we are full!
This simple deep breathing exercise can begin to alter the dangerous stress effect on body, stress effect on health, and completely change your quality of life, both in the short term and more importantly in the long term. It can prevent the stress side effects, and the onset of much more serious, and life threatening conditions.