Be Aware - You may be Addicted to Stress


I have, up until recently, repeatedly used phrases such as "I don't have time to do ...." or "What a waste of time that would be" or "Give me a break ... how will I ever have the time." Yes, that's right, it was a habit with me. So was my automatic reaction. I would react in various ways and my mind would race thinking about all the things I have to do. I would raise my voice in conversation. I would make mistakes - perpetuating the cycle of lack of time. And ... more. All this contributed to stress. My body and mind were addicted to "the reaction" (automatic action) when I constantly referred to time as an enemy. Without my conscious knowledge my body craved the reactions it went through when I spoke negatively about time. My body was addicted to the reactions it went through.

I have done something about this now by correcting myself, and now, sometimes even before the correction, I use phrases such as:
*  I have all the time in the world
*  I easily achieve the things I need to do
*  Time is a friend
*  I have plenty of time - I manufacture it.

I can share with you that this one awareness of the negative way I used the word "time" has made a real difference in my day, particularly around getting things done, and I know this has reduced my stress.

You may be surprised to hear some of this, considering how much daily meditation I do and my awareness and teachings about the importance of the way we speak to ourselves.  However, I think the human condition is such that challenges will always present themselves to us and the process of recognition and "correction" is what helps us to grow and learn.

Evolve Your Brain

"Evolve Your Brain" is a great book written by Joe Dispenza DC (Doctor of Chiropractic Degree) who was featured in the hit move "What the Bleep do we know!?"  He studied biochemistry, neurology, brain function, cellular biology, genetics ... and more.  He has authored several scientific articles on the close relationship between chemistry, neurophysiology and biology.  I was lucky enough to attend one of his seminars in Sydney.

The Chemistry of Survival

I am going to highlight key points and new points of science in the above named chapter in Joe Dispenza's book, which refer to stress. Living in stress is living in survival mode. Stress is when our body moves out of normal balance. A stressor is anything that disrupts the normal balance of the body and the stress response is what the body does to re-establish normal balance.

We can cause a stress by having an argument with our partner or by sitting in a comfortable chair worrying about tomorrow's job interview. In either case excesses lead to the body's system breaking down - known as illness, injury and overload. The neurological response produces adrenaline that goes into the bloodstream in a flash, whereas the chemical response (triggered by a mere internal thought) may take hours.

Humans have physical, chemical and emotional/psychological stresses and it's the latter which is harder to understand - deadlines, car troubles, disputes, finances and family relationships, to mention just a few examples. These non physical threats can not be dealt with by a flight-or-fight response as can the dangers that most animals face. Humans suffer the greatest damage from chronic emotional/psychological stress.

What is interesting to note, and I'm sure you may have experienced this, is that emotional/psychological stress produces first a chemical and then a physical stress. When, for example, our existing neck and shoulder problems actually become chronic. Recent estimates indicate that as many as 90% of people seeking medical care are doing so because of stress-related disorders.


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Exercise and Stress

At Yale University in USA research was done with a group of actors on exercise. The first group of actors were asked to make themselves angry and the second group were asked to be calm and peaceful. Both groups were monitored for heart rate, blood pressure and respiration.

The groups were then asked to engage in light exercise such as climbing stairs. The so-called angry group showed less healthy levels in each health function, whereas the other placid group exhibited the benefits we usually associate with exercise.

Common wisdom held that exercise reduced stress, but our state of mind and state of being during exercise, are just as important as the actual exercise itself and the number of repetitions and sets we do to improve our health.

Stress Effects .......

Sleep. People under stress sleep less because of their circulating levels of adrenaline. The less time we have for sleep, the less time for the restorative processes to take place. The less sleep we have, the more stress we have.

Procreation. Ovulation, sperm production and growing a foetus all take a back seat to our body's automatic handling of stress. Impotence, infertility and miscarriages can be common side effects of stress.

Immune System. How well our immune system detects early tumour cells and discards them is effected by whether or not our body is fighting stress. Stress is handled first and this takes away the resources from the immune system. Bacteria, viruses and cancer cells reproduce with impunity when the immune system is shut down in response to stress.

Too much CRH. CRH is a chemical produced during the stress response. It reduces the body's production and secretion of growth hormones. In chronically stressed children, growth is slowed. In adults, muscle and bone growth and regeneration are inhibited. Excess CRH can lead to irritable bowel syndrome, sometimes diabetes and it plays a role in mental disorders, phobias and panic attacks.

Thoughts can kill rats. Russian researchers fed rats an immune suppression drug coated with saccharine. The rats got sick. The drug was removed and just saccharine was given to them. The rats still got sick and many died. The rats anticipatory thoughts weakened their system ... their thoughts killed them!

Digestion. When stressed, the body moves blood away from the digestive tract to the extremities. We can be eating healthily, but we could be in the wrong frame of mind. All this means is that we're not breaking down our food properly. Our digestion is compromised by either ulcers, acid reflux, constipation or irritable bowel.

Depression. Recent studies have shown a correlation between chronic stress, the breakdown of neurons in the hippocampus and clinical depression. Depressed people rarely want to get out and have new experiences. It is the job of the hippocampus to change the unknown into the known - processing novel experiences.

Thy Good News

Despite what we have been told, the brain can regenerate and produce new cells. In fact neurogenesis, the production of new neurons, takes place very actively in the hippocampus. Regeneration in the hippocampus implies that when we break out of living life in survival mode, we may get a second chance. So if you're depressed, do something different every day.

Awareness is a big key. When you are stressed, and if it's habitual, know that the neural pathways you have set up can actually take you automatically to the stressed state ... and ... your body wants it. It has learned to deal with it the way a body does. And ... this is not what you want. You need to be aware to break out of it.

How to do that? With meditation, with Peaceful Place (relaxing in 30 seconds), with changing habits.

So, relax and contemplate over the upcoming holiday period. Contemplate what your stress triggers are and once you are aware - then you can do something about this. Set the appropriate goals to be done during Peaceful Place and meditation and certainly in this way you can extend your own healthy longevity.

All The Best for the Festive Season and 2009,

Sandy MacGregor

Something New

All scheduled Seminars in 2009, conducted by Sandy, are in Sydney - including
The 2 Day CALM Life Skills Seminar conducted twice a year

The 4/5 Day Live in CHI Seminar conducted a few times a year

The 5 Day Live in Train The Presenter Seminar conducted twice a year

If you want Sandy to conduct a seminar in your location then tell him. When sufficient interest is in (or near) the location you nominate then CALM will arrange the seminar and contact you. To let him know of the type and location of the seminar visit seminars [click here]. Go to the seminar that interests you, click the picture, and scroll down to the bottom where it says "Advise Preferred Location".

Success Stories

I have recently faced my hardest trial thus far . Been to the bottom of the abyss and have not been able to see the sky. You saved my life. Soldier on champion. TL. NSW.

I have an immense new way of using the power of my subconscious mind. I have been opened to new ways of setting goals, how to word them and most of all, how to achieve goals quicker using the subconscious mind. LE. NSW.

I now have the tools to manifest the life I want. You are an excellent teacher and I am very grateful to you for sharing your skills. HF. ACT.

Thank you for your latest report and birthday greetings Sandy.

    For me the latest e-report was informative with the keywords compassion, gratitude and  requests for our highest and best. I certainly am grateful for being introduced to your peaceful place concept all those years ago. It has set me on a path to be able to manage life challenges in a more suitable way for my mind and body. At the moment our farming community is under "siege" by mining exploration companies, and these relaxation and response skills definitely will assist us and particularly my husband as we make life changes decisions to leave our land that has been our home and bread and butter for so many years.

    Always good to receive your newsletters. They always seem to be what is needed at the time. Thank you and deepest gratitude. SG. QLD.


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