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Stress Management at Any Age: Part 2

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December 15, 2011 | Published by


woman bungee jumpingDr. James Wilson once told me that some people, because they have become so addicted to that rush of adrenalin in their lives, feel the need to go sky diving or bungee jumping just to feel great. We live in times when faster, quicker and instant gratification has become the norm. Nobody wants to wait for anything anymore. When we are seated for a coffee or a meal, we expect instantaneous service. And with correspondence: “Hey, didn’t you get my email this morning? Why haven’t you replied to the text I just sent you?” is normal today, when years ago it was, “Did you get my fax from a few days ago?” We need to slow down a little; we have literally become a society of rats on treadmills with no end to the wheel turning. And the unfortunate thing today is that many busy people aren’t even aware they are on that wheel themselves.

Basically, the stress of deadlines and traffic jams and mobile phone ringing evokes the same physiological reaction that occurred thousands of years ago when anxiety came in the form of being chased by a rather large wild animal. The body responds to these challenging situations by releasing adrenaline into the blood, making your heart beat faster and supplying blood to the muscles. Then, cortisol wears away at the body’s fat and energy stores, releasing extra glucose to fuel the brain and body. Finally, the body slows down the immune and digestive systems so it can preserve energy.

When it comes to large carnivores, this stress system is second to none. But while our stressors today are more regular and don’t tend to force us to dive for cover, our bodies haven’t really evolved or quite caught up. “Our body treats psychological stress the same way it treats physical stress and releases the same response,” says biological scientist Dr Sinan Ali. So remember this: while your mind might panic over a deadline, your body is preparing to do battle! When that fight doesn’t occur, all those stress hormones hang around in the body with nothing actually to fight. And that’s when stress becomes responsible for conditions such as obesity, poor immune function, pain and inflammation, high blood pressure, depression, insomnia, hypoglycemia, skin and digestive problems and a whole host of other problems.

The two main types of stress

Eustress – This is the good type, which helps to motivate you to achieve your goals and leaves you feeling challenged but in control. Eustress can be as simple as showing up to work every day, keeping appointment times, managing your kids and family life or planning and organizing your life in general.

Distress – This is the bad type which leaves you anxious, unsettled and unmotivated. So, how do you know if your good stress is turning bad? “Look for the warning signs,” said psychologist Dr. Sarah Edelman. If you start to feel shaky, tense, tight in the chest, irritable or are having problems sleeping, are getting grumpy with your kids and/or significant other, then the stress is getting too much for you to handle. “When you feel out of control, stress usually becomes a problem and the cracks are starting to show,” said stress management expert Meiron Lees.

Stress Management at Any Age: Part 1

Stress Management at Any Age: Part 3

About the Author

dr eric bakkerEric Bakker B.H.Sc. (Comp.Med), N.D, R.Hom. is a highly experienced naturopathic physician who has been in clinical practice for 25 years. Eric is passionate about improving people’s lives through proven wellness and lifestyle principles, natural medicine practice as well as public and professional practitioner education. Eric specialises in candida yeast infections, as well as adrenal fatigue, and thyroid disorders. Dr. Bakker has written one of the most comprehensive books on yeast infections called Candida Crusher. Website:  candidacrusher.com  You can complete his online survey to determine if you have a yeast infection here, or link through to his many You Tube videos: www.yeastinfection.org  Dr. Bakker’s Blog:  www.ericbakker.com



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