Tag Archives: health

Stress and what it does to you and your body !!!


Let’s start at the top; the brain. First, let’s differentiate good stress from bad stress. Typically, there are two types of stress: acute and chronic. Acute stress is a reaction to an immediate threat. That threat can feel like a physical or an emotional threat. It causes our brain to go into flight, fight or freeze mode. Once the threat passes, our stress hormones return to normal and we feel okay. Sometimes acute stress revs up the brain to perform at a peak level, kind of like revving an engine before the start of a race.

Chronic stress, the kind we face daily, is what tends to cause the real damage. According to an article by Deane Alban, 90 percent of doctors’ visits are for stress-related health complaints. Chronic stress makes you more vulnerable to anything ranging from the common cold to cancer. The article goes on to say that “the non-stop elevation of stress hormones not only makes your body sick, it negatively impacts your brain as well.”

Stress has many hidden negative consequences, because it affects the brain: High chronic stress increases the stress hormone cortisol, which creates a surplus of the neurotransmitter glutamate. Glutamate creates free radicals that attack brain cells in a similar way that oxygen attacks metal and creates rust.

Stress can also decrease or stop the production of new brain cells. The brain cell activity described is not what we can see so we are clueless to some of these damaging affects until we start to experience the signs and symptoms such as increased depression, cycles of anxiety and worry, increased risk of all kinds of mental illnesses, emotional dysregulation (when we feel we can cry at the drop of a hat or be fine one minute, enraged the next), increased forgetfulness, and/or basically feeling stupid.

A stressed woman biting her first.

Untitled by Serena West

Stress literally allows toxins into the brain that can shrink our brain, it can lead to higher risk of dementia and/or Alzheimer’s. Yet, according to Alban, Alzheimer’s disease is the number one health fear of American adults and the sixth leading cause of death. Stress leads to premature aging on a cellular level. As a psychologist who specializes in trauma, I’m especially interested in the part of the brain called the amygdala. It’s the area in the brain where we lose the ability to be present, and we are in fight, flight or freeze mode.

According to an article by Carolyn Gregoire from the Huffington Post, increased cortisol hampers the activity of the hippocampus (an area of the brain associated with learning, memory and emotion), and it increases the size and activity of the amygdala, the brains center where we hold our unprocessed emotions, thoughts and body sensations. If stress increases the activity in this part of the brain, then that could mean we are in a heightened state of reactivity to a perceived threat. This increases our emotional reactions and decreases the ability to have rational thoughts and take in new information. It takes a lot more energy for the brain to be in flight, fight or freeze mode then to be calm and relaxed. As stated earlier, the ways in which stress affects the brain is extensive. We could go more in depth, but these are some of the common ways stress affects the brain and therefore, affects our daily lives and journey of healing.

There is no way to make recommendations as to how to manage stress and decrease the negative effects on the brain without taking in the entire mind, body, spirit approach to wellness. I will be going much more in depth in the next two parts of this blog; for now, a good place to start would be to:

  1. Reconnect to your spiritual life and belief system.
  2. Incorporate yoga and/or meditation to your exercise regime.
  3. Consult with a nutritionist who can advise you on proper nutrition and appropriate goals for mindful eating.
  4. Consult with a doctor (my preference would be an Ayurveda specialist or Naturopathic Doctor) who can/will go more in depth with proper testing and recommendations for managing stress. Checking your adrenals and cortisol levels will be important in the process of decreasing the effects of stress on the brain and body.
  5. Consult with a professional counselor who can work with you on identifying and managing your stress.
  6. Engage in a healing process that can benefit you inside and out.

As we are all on our journey of healing, we face a variety of challenges consisting of health, family, relational, financial, spiritual, and emotional experiences.


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I found a new web site with great information, Here is a article of Positive health wellness website.

Positive health wellness website is a great site for all different types of information, they have Diet, Nutrition,Recipes and pain relief. It is worth the look. https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/
There is a link located at the lower end of the Resource section for positive health wellness. Keep checking back to the site they are always adding new information. I think it’s a great site!!! Check it out. Kelly

Turmeric-1-1

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Autoimmune disease, vestibular Dysfunction, Fibromyalgsia took my health and my career

I have always worked in my life, Proud of being being able to raise my kids and live our life the way we did, we hadn’t gone to Disney land, or drove a fancy car, but we had a home, home made food, nothing out of a box, the boys were in Soccer, Karate, Swimming, cub scouts, and boy scouts, Our house was the neighborhood house, I loved having all the kids at our house, although our house wasn’t 3000 square feet it was home and nice home, and although we couldn’t really vacation , we camped in the back yard and used a tent trailer in the front yard and made up vacations in our imagination, food and house decorations to match the vacation, I worked in the hair business for a while before realizing it wasn’t coming from my heart, so I started working in the medical field, first in the operating room then Labor and delivery then 15 years at a Dr’s office and I loved my job, it didn’t feel like work to me, I was doing what I was meant to do.  I believed in everything The Dr I worked for did, I really believed his first interest was the patients. My loyalty will always be there.   But my illness took that away from me, how devastating that was to me to give up what I believe was meant to do.  But with employers it comes down to, you become a liability, there afraid you are going to make mistakes, although there wasn’t any made.  The comments said behind your back about working with a employee with a disability was heart crushing to me, Co workers I thought that were my friends, my family and I came home from work the last 6 months crying every day because of how I was being treated by a particular employee at my job, she made me feel so bad about myself and I was allowing her to make me sicker and sicker and my husband said there is no job worth this.  I thought about it and he was right, I was loyal for 15 years and my intention was to retire when the Doctor did, but this particular employee did everything  she could to make my life a living hell.  The Doctor didn’t want to hear it, so  I went to a disability attorney and found out my rights and found out I could sue due to her behavior, her discriminating words not only against me but applicants for jobs,  but I didn’t want to hurt the Doctor or the practice or keep the negativity in my life.  She was toxic and broken and I couldn’t let her treat me that way anymore, so I left.  It was the best decision I ever made.  Although I am still sick I don’t have that added stress and toxicity in my life.   My job was for the patients, and that’s why they liked me and felt safe with me, they knew I would take care of them.  But most patients are on my facebook page and keep in contact.  When I run into patients they hug me and tell me how much they miss me and the office isn’t the same with out me.  So I know I made a impact and now my heart is to help others with invisible illnesses.  So i am still doing my hearts work just in a different way.  My support group is awesome and when we share our tears and we share our stories, I know I am on the right road.  Kelly

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