SSSTRREEESSSSSSS?!? — Part 3 – Why it’s bad for you
A few weeks ago. Or maybe months…it was right as the holidays were starting to kick in. I thought it would make sense to open up the topic of stress management as a fun series of posts. Well, the holidays came and went with a flurry of fun and I was treading water just to keep the fun cocktail and skinny tack recipes coming. So hopefully you made it through the last bits of 2012 and you’re staring at your clean 2013 plate wondering how you’re going make this year better than the rest. Well, let’s get a handle on how you handle the hard stuff. Sit back, kick back, review the last few blogs here and read on this week to continue to firm your grasp on this typically intangible topic. And next week I’ll post the last quarter of this series.
Now onto Party 3, the Physiological Impact of Stress:
I don’t know where you personally sit on the “mind-body” connection theory, but there is scientific proof that the way your mind is processing “stress” has a true effect on your body. When you’re “stressed,” your body is sweating, your heart rate is increasing, your hands are shaking, and it may feel like your heart is in your throat. All those things are going on because you’re preparing for “fight or flight.”
The term originated from the cave man days when a bear was hunting you. You see a bear in the woods and your body automatically assesses the situation. Either you’re going to fight like a beast or run like hell. And I’m sure many of you haven’t found yourself in this wild adventure scenario lately, but the physiological response is still equally relevant today. Let’s say for instance you run into an ex-boyfriend at the grocery store when you look like a wet dog. You have two choices, pull it together and prepare for a physical conversation where your words will outwit and shame your ex to pieces, or you’re diving behind the nearest produce stand. (But honestly, on a side note, in this wet dog/grocery store example, I suggest running and hope you weren’t spotted. That witty conversation battle is tough when you’re not feeling your best.)
Anyhow, this “fight or flight” response physically takes precious resources on a micro level. Blood is diverted from the skin to large muscle groups. Stress hormones are released as you are on heightened alert. This shuts down other biological functions like tissue repair, digestion, reproduction, growth, and immune and inflammatory response. It’s no wonder we get sicker more often and older faster when we live with a constant level of stress in our lives.
Got it? Stress is bad. It makes you fat, sick and old. So does this mean that the secrete to health, youth and vitality could be as simple as mastering some stress management techniques? I don’t think there is a magic pill, but I do think there is some science here that would indicate there is some truth in the matter.
So in summary, we know almost everything causes stress, and it’s really bad for you. Now what? Next week we get to the good stuff. Effective techniques and strategies that will help you effectively identify and manage some of this external nonsense that is causing internal deterioration. Strengthening from the inside out ladies – that’s what we’re doing here at Eat, Drink and Be Skinny!