Flight or Fight, the Effects of Stress
Both Western and Chinese Medicine are in agreement that stress is one of the leading causes of disease. When a
person experiences mental, emotional or physical stress, the body reacts. It floods the system with biochemicals and
hormones to enable the body to handle the stressful situation. This is called the “flight or fight” response. Every organ
of the body responds, the muscles tense up so that you can jump, run or struggle with maximum strength, blood
pressure rises to quickly transport fuel to the muscles, breathing quickens to provide more oxygen; the heart races
to rush the oxygen to the muscles, the liver pours forth sugar and the fat cells release fat.
One can see how repeated feelings of stress can lead to pain and tight muscles, high blood pressure, anxiety, a rapid
heart rate, and weight gain. Additionally, when a person is stressed, systems that don’t immediately serve this “flight or
flight” response, such as the digestive and immunity system, shut down. This is why it is common after prolonged
periods of stress to have a weakened immune system, digestive issues (acid reflux, bloatedness, constipation), and
Stress also becomes harmful when people use alcohol, tobacco, coffee or drugs to try and relieve their symptoms.
Although these substances bring temporary relief, they tend to stress out an already stressed system.
Because every good article should have a top five list…….
Top 5 Ways to Reduce Stress:
Key #1: First, Learn How Your Body Reacts to Stress.
Ask yourself, ‘where in your body do you tend to hold stress (indigestion, irritability, tight neck)? Get to know your
Key #2: Reminding People to BREATHE is the Gold Nugget for Stress Management.
Breathing helps the body metabolize stress hormones. Checks and Balances: the nervous systems that balances
out the ‘flight or fight’ system is called the ‘rest and digest’. This parasympathetic nervous system immediately
responds to deep measured breathing. Additionally, we tend to hold our breath when under pressure, which leads
to poor oxygen delivery and increased muscle tension.
Try this exercise.
1. 6 breathes in one minute, for 3 minutes.
2. 5 seconds in and 5 seconds out.
This exercise immediately lowers Blood Pressure kicks in the ‘rest and digest system’. Also, try placing post-it
notes or calendar reminders to BREATHE.
Key #3. Walk for 20 Minutes a Day at the Pace of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.
Walk for 20 Minutes a Day at the Pace of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.
Key #4 Enjoy Milk Thistle Tea
Milk thistle helps protect liver cells from incoming toxins and encourages the liver to cleanse itself of damaging
substances, such as alcohol, medications, pesticides, environmental toxins, and even heavy metals such as
Key #5 Do Something That Brings You Pleasure.
It’s true that laughter is the best medicine—taking time for pleasure and fun decreases the stress hormones
cortisol and adrenaline. Commit to a minimum of fifteen minutes of true enjoyment every day. Not only will you
feel better, you’ll be able to approach arduous tasks with more energy and a better outlook.