Last week here at NGFC we held our Healthy Living Night where we talked all about STRESS. Many of our people weren’t able to make it but it has become clear to me how important it is to talk about stress and the damages it incurs in our lives and in our health. So lets recap the workshop and give you some needed knowledge and tools to stave off stress in our lives.
First things first. There is no such thing as stress. There is only the absence of PEACE in your life. Much like there is no such thing as darkness only the absence of light. No such thing as hatred only the absence of love. No such thing as disease only the absence of health. This if very important to grasp because if you are out there fighting stress its like you are fighting darkness. Until you shine a light the darkness will remain. Until you find peace, the stress will remain. So our aim must become to restore peace in our lives.
There are 3 types of stress.
- Emotional Stress: This is the one most people think of when they are feeling “stressed out”. It’s the turmoil in your mind. Maybe someone makes a rude comment or cuts you off on your commute. Your boss demands more from you. Your kids are out of control. Your going through a divorce or a death in the family. The pressures of life are real and they are hard.
- Chemical Stress: Every manmade chemical that enters your body causes stress. This feels different than emotional stress but the results are the same. Chemicals cause damage to your nerves and cells. When your body is being constantly damaged it is in a state of perpetual stress.
- Physical Stress: The wear and tear of life on Earth causes stress. Every trip, every fall, every car crash, every moment you spend doubled over staring at your phone (bad posture) causes stress in your body.
It really doesn’t matter what type of stress you are dealing with the result is the same. Stress impacts the nervous system. Now if you don’t know, your nervous system controls your life. For you to breathe, think, eat, love, sleep, lose weight, be in a good mood your nervous system has to be on and running smoothly all things in harmony, at peace, stress free.
Now there are 2 parts to your nervous system. Sympathetic and Parasympathetic. Both are good and both are essential.
Sympathetic controls your fight or flight response. When stress comes in fight or flight takes over. In the case of acute stress this is very good! If you are walking in the woods and all of a sudden a bear pops out in front of you, fight or flight kicks in. Your heart rate goes up. Your blood pressure goes up. Your breathing increases and all of the non-essential stuff turns off. You don’t need to pour energy into your immune system if a bear is about to eat you. You don’t need to be slowly digesting food if your life is on the line. Your body goes into emergency survival mode.
Parasympathetic controls your rest and digest response. When you are at peace (no bears chasing you) you don’t need fast breathing and blood pumping. You need to digest food and fight off germs. You need your hormones to regulate and your body to rest and heal. This is where we are meant to spend 99% of our lives. At peace, in harmony, stress free.
The problem is we deal with chemical, physical, and emotional stress CONSTANTLY. Emails, text messages, kids, spouses, slips and falls, bad posture, poor sleep habits, sitting all day, medications, preservatives, vaccines, food colorings, beauty products, city water, man made food…. The list goes on forever. Because of this our nervous system constantly stays in fight or flight. You can easily see this in the chronic disease epidemic we are currently in. Think for just a minute about the warning signs of chronic disease. High blood pressure. Increased heart and breathing rate. Poor digestion. Weak immune function. Imbalanced hormones. Poor sleep. Inflammation. These are all a direct result of chronic chemical, physical, and emotional stress. You are stuck in a perpetual state of fight or flight because you are constantly pouring in more stress. But really it is just the result of a chronic lack of peace in your mind and body. Stress brings sickness and disease. Peace brings rest and healing.
At our workshop we talked in detail about how to reduce stress and increase peace in our minds and bodies. That is beyond the scope of this short writing. That is why we hold our events! To give you tools. If you are curious feel free to ask any of our team members here at NGFC but most importantly get to our next workshop. Until then, I’ll see you in the bay.
In Health and Faith,