Our ancestors had tigers, bears, wolfs and other life threatening situations to deal with that caused them to experience the flight or fight response, it’s also called the acute stress response.
Mind, body and emotions are strongly linked and there is a very clear interaction between them. Our brain registers a stressor – often a strong emotion like fear- and a consequent physical reaction is triggered, this is called the fight or flight response. It is a physiological response triggered by our nervous system when we feel a strong emotion like fear. Fear is the normal emotion to feel in response to a danger or threat and for our ancestors it was the tiger, or the bear.
In our society today, it’s not the bear or the tiger anymore. The stress response is triggered by more complex and subtle concerns: internal threats in the form of fears and/or worries. When we feel anxious or fearful about a presentation, job interview, financial issues, relationship issues, e.g. the fight or flight response is still triggered in our body and we experience a range of strong, physical symptoms. These symptoms are designed to temporarily change the way our body is functioning – to enable rapid physical responses, which would have allowed our ancestors to run away from the tiger. These responses include: Increased blood supply to brain, muscles and limbs, thinking less and reacting more instinctively, heart beating quicker and harder, blood pressure rising, lungs taking in more O2, muscles tensing for action, adrenal glands releasing Adrenalin, digestion and most organs slowing down.
This is the physical response to stress. If the stress is temporary then all the above will come back to normal, once the stress is gone. However, for most of us stress is not temporary anymore, but ongoing and we learn to live with it. We call this long term stress. Symptoms such as headaches and muscle tension are often directly caused by the bodily responses to stress . Long term stress is also linked to many diseases.
No part of the body is immune to long term stress and each of us will respond differently. Some of the symptoms can be depression, anxiety, personality disorders, muscular skeletal problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, heart attack, stroke, cancer, insomnia, obesity, skin and hair problems, digestive problems, just to name a few.
Many other existing disorders, -some say most-, are aggravated by stress.
Stress has become the way of life for many of us. We are aware that it is unhealthy, but we just seem unable to change this.
However, it is possible to deal with the stress. It is possible to address those internal fears and worries. And it is possible to calm our system down with regular maintenance. Just as we take our car for regular service, we can do the same for our body! There is yoga, meditation, acupuncture, massage, relaxation techniques, hypnosis, EFT (Emotional Freedom Tapping), walks in nature and so much more. But it all starts with YOUR decision. Are you ready to look after yourself?
The Stress – Menopause Connection
AS we have heard above, fears and worries are causing this acute stress response. When we have negative thoughts like life is a struggle, Menopause is such a misery, I never have enough money and so on, we are actually increasing our stress and we are going into fear and directly affect our Nervous System and with that causing this stress response. Persistent negative thinking therefore causes increased adrenaline secretion, which causes the Adrenal Glands to become depleted, which will cause even more menopause symptoms. Can you see the vicious circle many women are in – just because they don’t know!!!!