Controlling your anxiety and stress levels might be helpful in controlling inflammation, as well as ward off aging related chronic illnesses. When we are in a constant state of worry relating to daily life such as work, school, finances, family etc; our bodies begin to recognize this continued exposure as a threat. Thus Immediately activating the stress response by switching the body’s systems to “fight or flight” mode, a physiological response normally reserved for dangerous situations. The hypothalamus gland in the brain sets the response in motion by triggering the nervous system, which in turn alerts the adrenal glands to release a huge surge of stress hormones known as epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and cortisol directly into the bloodstream which causes several physical changes in the body. Including increasing the heart rate, elevating blood pressure and boosting our energy supply. Cortisol the primary stress hormone, also increases our levels of glucose in the bloodstream and enhances the brain’s use of glucose, which allows us to think faster to plan an escape. The release of cortisol also minimizes the use of crucial functions of the body. Functions such as the immune system, digestive system and reproductive system, rendering them temporarily useless, which would allow us to flee a truly dangerous situation much more quickly. Because several areas of the brain are alerted, this physiological state also effects our mood among other things. In a real life emergency these responses would be beneficial, but imagine what’s happening to the body each time you are under mental, physical or emotional stress. Being exposed frequently to stressful situations creates a constant release of these hormones and over long periods of time can be incredibly be harmful to the immune system.
In a real “fight or flight” situation the body completely returns to normal after the perceived threat has been removed. Stress hormone levels decrease, cortisol levels drop, heart rate returns to normal, blood pressure returns to its original level and body functions such as, the immune, digestive and reproduction systems resume their normal routines. However, with the continued exposure to stress, the body remains in constant “fight or flight” mode with the inability to regulate itself. The continued release of these stress hormones can lead to an impaired immune system. Thus breaking down the body’s ability to discern allies from helpers. As a result, the body begins to view everything as a threat causing immune malfunctions such as chronic inflammation. Which is the number one contributing factor to aging related diseases and major symptoms and conditions such as allergies, chronic headaches, obesity, diabetes, adrenal fatigue, autoimmune diseases, hypertension, heart disease, strokes, insomnia, digestive issues, depression and memory impairment. It can also trigger the inflammatory response in the body, which would naturally effect chronic inflammatory diseases of the joints (arthritis) and skin (eczema). Imagine what the continued exposure to stressful situations can do to someone battling an autoimmune disease and chronic inflammatory conditions such as Ankylosing Spondylitis, or a syndrome such a Fibromyalgia which is directly effected by stress.
We are living in very stressful times, but stress does not have to dominate your life. If you learn to master healthy stress reducing techniques now, you can limit your risk of chronic illness, aging related disease or the risk of exacerbating symptoms associated with diseases or conditions that you may already have. There is one technique that we can employ at anytime allowing us to reap immediate positive health benefits, while allowing us to regain control of our minds & bodies and that would be to adapt both an inner & outer smile. It sounds far too simple to actually work, but you can have confidence in knowing that by putting on an immediate outer smile, in spite of whatever stressful situation that you might be experiencing, it forces an inward shift. Which then becomes an inner smile or a positive mental attitude. This chain reaction then tells the body that everything is going to be ok. This causes the body to then immediately stop releasing stress hormones, which returns the blood pressure to normal, while also allowing the immune and digestive systems to regain their normal functions. It also releases endorphins which is a natural pain killer and serotonin which is a mood enhancer. By simply utilizing this little technique we can immediately create a positive mental attitude, which not only allows us to problem solve more effectively, but when used regularly combined with a healthy lifestyle can also extend our lives. Remember when you are under stress, remove yourself from the situation, close your eyes, take a deep cleansing breath and immediately adapt both an inner & outer smile. Have several each day and share a few with friends. Wishing you many beautiful and stress free days ahead “The Positive Pear” Blog:)
Other natural stress management techniques here on the positive pear.
(All rights reserved. Please feel free to share this article in its entirety, excerpts or links provided full & clear credit is given to The Positive Pear Blog)