Effects of Stress

The effects of chronic stress can lead to stress-related disorders or stress-related symptoms. This is well documented in scientific literature. Chronic stress initially changes our bio-chemistry and organ functioning due to increased activation of the sympathetic nervous system, changes in brain centers that control the release of neurochemicals and hormones. By focusing on what causes stress in your life, you are able to gain control over harmful physiological processes because you are learning a new (healthier) approach. I have often said, “Stress is nothing but a thought…and aliens don’t put thoughts in our heads. We choose the thoughts we think.” Although this saying is simplistic, it is true. We have a choice in the thoughts we allow ourselves to think. Ultimately we can choose better thoughts if we are aware of them and consciously pick something better to think about.

The goal of all this physiological activity is to ready the organism (you) for “fight-or-flight” in response to a life threatening situation (perceived threat). These physiological changes would be great if you actually fought something to save your life (fight), or ran away to save your life (flight). The first problem is that what triggers the fight-or-flight response in a modern world, would rarely be considered life-threatening. The second problem is that the body doesn’t know the difference between the thoughts that trigger the response. The fight-or-flight response will occur to either of these two thoughts, “Oh no… the neighbors dog is barking again and it is so annoying.” and “Oh no… the pack of wolves is chasing me into the forest and they look hungry.” The former thought is not life threatening, but the body will activate the fight-or-flight response none the less, with dozens of physiological processes changing and millions of cells being affected.

As an example, how many times have you heard someone say, “When I am under a lot of stress, I can’t stop eating.” This is an example of a stress behavior. The stress behavior (eating) starts simple, but leads to major health (psychological and physical) concerns. The process looks something like this - Thoughts that activate the “fight-or-flight” response will trigger consumption of calories/energy needed for energy to fight or run (flight). Over eating is a problem in a modern world because we don’t actually fight or run away. Modern stress is not so much physical harm, but psychological in nature. All those extra calories are stored as fat, which then results in being overweight. Being overweight strains the entire body from the heart to the joints.

Related Posts

Just a Moment of Peace

How to Have Just a Moment of Peace Generally speaking, living in modern times tends to be fast-paced and hectic.  Multitasking has been accepted as a skill to master.  But at some point, we realize that life is chasing us... Continue Reading

Are You Good Enough

There are many definitions of stress. The one that I like best is this one: stress is the difference between what you think others expect from you and what you can actually do. What you think you’re expected to do... Continue Reading

Biofeedback Treatment to Reduce Stress and Improve Health

Biofeedback Treatment For Your Health Biofeedback is a fun way to learn how to control your stress and balance your mind and body.  Biofeedback has come a long way since the 1960's.  Today's biofeedback is computer based with engaging graphics. ... Continue Reading

Cut or Reduce Healthcare Costs

 Three Things To Do To Cut Your Healthcare Costs If you are lucky enough to have insurance, you know the joy of paying the monthly premium.  On top of that monthly payment, you may need to actually use the insurance... Continue Reading