How you VIEW Stress Determines How it Effects Your Physical Body and Mind
What if what we have been told this whole time is wrong? For years, I have been preaching about the dangerous effects stress has on the body. I have been teaching people how to handle stress because basically any health concern you have, especially hormone imbalances is stress related in some way.
I have even blamed the stress that was going on in my life on my own hormonal imbalances. “It’s not my fault: I was living in a third world country with no car, my father was in and out of the mental hospital, we just bought a house, and our car engine blew up so our savings account is no longer. THAT is the reason for all of my concerns” Sounds reasonable right? I thought so. But the more I learn, the more I realize that it is not stress that harms us, it is how we PERCEIVE stress that causes problems.
Let me explain: We will never be able to control the circumstances in our life BUT we can control our reaction to them AND how they effect our health. I am not saying it is easy, but I am saying that it is possible.
The Science: Stress can be GOOD for you
There are different stages of stress that effect our body differently. Stress in stage one is good- it keeps us alert, focused, and energetic. Stress in stages two and three are when it becomes toxic and harmful to your body and life.
How do you go from stage one to stage two? Your thoughts and emotions that you choose! If you respond with worry, anger, bitterness, or fear to your situation, you enter into the toxic stages of stress. When you meditate and constantly think about your problems, you are creating neural pathways that physically get wired into your brain, and your stress enters levels where they never should be.
On the other hand, when you respond to any situation that is happening around you with hope, faith, love, forgiveness, and gratitude, your stress response stays in a healthy place.
Our cells and DNA are controlled by the signals we give them, and those signals are our thoughts! How we respond to the environment going on around us determines how are genes will be expressed, if we get a disease, or have any problem in the body.
Check out Dr. Caroline Leaf for more information on this topic.
Your Body can Only be in 1 of 2 States
Every cell in your body can biochemically only be in one of two states: love or fear(fight or flight OR healing and repair)- there is no grey area.
When we are operating out of love(joy, gratitude)- our cells are in growth and healing which is what we want to be in as much as we can because that is when we are growing, repairing, becoming a better, more healthy body. It also protects us from aging, disease, sickness, and mental disorders.
When we are operating out of fear(shame, anger, worry, bitterness, envy)- our cells go into protection mode- which means we are not healing, not repairing, not growing, and the immune system gets shut down.
This is why there has been a significant increase in all diseases, imbalances, allergies, and mental disorders- because we are in this protection mode most of the time- not what God intended, and our bodies are showing it.
Takeaway: We control our biology, how we perceive and respond to what is happening around us determines what happens inside of us.
Stress is a Mindset
Why do some people seem to thrive under stress while others seem to completely fall apart? The difference is their perception on life. Studies have shown that a person that views the stressful situations in their life as challenges that are growing them, making them stronger, and they will overcome it, their body stays in a healthy state. Those who viewed stress as something that makes them weaker, less able to handle life, and more depressed- their bodies entered in the toxic stages of stress, effecting their health.
Train your Brain to Handle Stress
Responding positively to hard situations in life does not come easy, but the good news is that you can begin to train your brain and body to do so naturally, and it will become easier and your natural response over time. It may be hard to always try to see the good in a situation- but keep doing it! The more you do, the more that will become your natural response.
The filters in which we perceive life have been programmed in us through our childhood, and through our choices and memories throughout our entire life. Right this second, we are all having a different perception of reality based on what we have programmed in our subconsciousness.
Two people can look at the same situation and based on what perception filters that have built in, one can see it as a negative and the other as a positive.
Some helpful articles to help with this: how prayer changes your brain, blocked emotions releasing, and super brain yoga.
- Your thoughts about what is happening around you determine how your physical body responds to the situation.
- Each thought and emotion you have is physically changing your brain and body, for better or worse.
- The thoughts and emotions you choose to feel each day determine your health, happiness, and success- and we can CHOOSE what thoughts and emotions we FEEL.
- The more you choose to see the good in things and REFRAME your situation- the more you are training your brain to do that automatically with every situation that comes your way.
To turn a hard situation around, or to view your life in a different light. . .
Remember the 3 Rs
- Become aware of exactly what you are feeling and why. Breathe. Reconnect with God.
- Ask better questions! How can I re frame this situation? How is this situation making me stronger? What good could possibly come from this situation? What is this teaching me? God who do you want to be for me in this? What do you want me to do?
- Turn your focus on eternity, the only thing that matters. What we do here is determining what you will be doing there- where we will live in utter BLISS, FOREVER. We are only here for a very short time.
- Bring up a time where you felt amazing! A time or place that fills you with peace and joy. Focus on 3 things you are so grateful for. Breathe deep and think on these.
Mindset is number one, but you cannot forget diet and lifestyle to significantly help you handle life to the best of your ability.
- Eat an antiflamatory diet filled with organic vegetables, leafy greens, fruit, nuts and seeds, organic meat, wild caught fish, pasture raised eggs, and healthy fats like coconut, avocado, butter/ghee, and olive oil and olives.
- Sleep at least 7-9 hours a night.
- Drink half your body weight in ounces of filtered, clean water daily.
- Move your body every day.
- I love to supplement with collagen protein, a therapeutic grade fish oil, probiotics, greens powders, and minerals. <- the brands I recommend.
Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders Srinivasan S. Pillay
The Institute for Functional Medicine