Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Reducing stress in a warp speed world

by: Sherry L. Ackerman, Ph.D.

As the wheels continue to come of the wagon known as the old paradigm, humans are increasingly exhibiting accelerated stress behaviors. This isn't good, as research indicates that stress is a leading factor in precipitating illness.

Stress is not ipso facto a bad thing. A certain amount of stress is natural. None of us live stress free lives. However, while a certain amount of stress is normal, chronic negative stress is harmful to our health.

When an individual is faced with stress, his body mobilizes for action in what is called a fight or flight reaction. During a fight or flight reaction, the heart rate increases, breathing is accelerated, and the muscles tense up.

When an individual identifies a threat, or experiences strong negative emotions such as anger and/or rage, activity in the sympathetic nervous system rises and the adrenal glands release the hormones epinephrine (or adrenaline) and norepinephrine into the blood stream. At the same time, corticosteriod hormones which release fatty acids for energy, are released by the adrenal glands. This nervous system and hormonal activity causes digestion to stop, blood sugar levels to increase, and the heart to pump more blood to the muscles. Read more...

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