How Stress Kills, Makes you Fat and What to do About It.
“Stress is not a state of mind… it’s measurable and dangerous, and humans often can’t seem to find their off-switch.”
These words of warning come from award-winning neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky .
As we evolved, the stress response saved our lives by enabling us to run from predators or take down prey. But today, we are turning on the same “life-saving” reaction to cope with petrol prices, fear of public speaking, family dynamics, difficult bosses, and traffic jams—and we have a hard time turning it off.
Constantly being in a stress response may have you marinating in corrosive hormonesaround the clock that will damage your DNA and shorten your life.
The impact that stress has on your body is very real and needs to be managed so you don’t fall fowl to disease.
It can shrink your brain, add fat to your belly, and even unravel and damage your chromosomes and telomeres (your genetic code). Understanding how stress works can help you figure out ways to combat it and reduce its negative impacts on your health.
Dr. Sapolsky explains how psychological distress may turn on your stress response and how you are more vulnerable to stress if the following factors are true:
You feel like you have no control
You’re not getting any predictive information (how bad the challenge is going to be, how long it will go on, etc.)
You feel you have no way out
You interpret things as getting worse
You have no “shoulder to cry on” (e.g. lack of social affiliation or support)
Overall, men and women suffer from the same stress-related illnesses, but they differ in the types of situations they experience as most stressful. The genders also experience stress differently. For example, women suffer more stress-induced anxiety and depression than men. One thing is known to be true for both genders: higher stress equates to a shorter life expectancy.
Are You a Stress Junkie?
The paradox here is that humans have essentially become addicted to stress. There is “good stress” (eustress) and “bad stress” (distress)—meaning, you experience certain stressful experiences as unpleasant and seek to avoid them, but others you may actually seek out because they’re fun. For example, snowboarding, skydiving, roller coasters, and scary movies are experiences that may flip your thrill-switch—and your body responds to those stresses in the same way as if a tiger were chasing you.
Your muscles tense, your heart pounds, your respirations increase, and your body stops all of its non-essential processes. This can be pleasantly exhilarating, and for some rather addictive… you might know someone whom you could describe as an “adrenalin junkie.” A thrill is simply the relinquishing of a bit of control in a setting that feels safe. But when you’re in that heightened state of arousal 24/7, stress takes its toll on your body— whether you perceive the stress as “good” or “bad.”
Stress Takes a Toll on Your Telomeres, Heart, Brain and adds Cms to Your Waistline
Science has established that stress can lead to cardiovascular disease, but did you know that it can also lead to weight gain—of the worst kind? Stress-induced weight gain typically involves an increase in belly fat and visceral fat, which is the most dangerous fat for your body to accumulate, and increases your cardiovascular, diabetes and cancer risk. Stress alters the way fat is deposited because of the specific hormones and other chemicals your body produces when you’re stressed.
Prolonged stress can also damage your brain cells where you lose the capacity to learn and remember things. Stress disrupts your neuroendocrine and immune systems and appears to trigger a degenerative process in your brain that can result in Alzheimer’s disease.
Stress can also accelerate aging by shortening your Telomeres, the protective genetic structures that regulate how your cells age. In the words of Dr Bill Andrews who was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 2009 for Telomere research “Telomeres are damaged and shortened by stress and the length of telomeres determines the length of your lifespan”
The Good News:
Our bodies know how to fix broken proteins, kill cancer cells, retard aging, protect telomeres, and fight infection. They even know how to heal ulcers, make skin lesions disappear and knit together broken bones! But here’s the kicker—those natural self-repair mechanisms don’t work if you’re stressed!
You can reduce your stress with these HOT Tips:
Do whatever it takes to reduce the external stress in your life – relationship, financial, social, and work.
Reduce internal stress by cutting out the alcohol, caffeine, fatty, sugary, processed foods and drinking and eating more of the whole live, lean and clean foods – drink 8+ glasses of clean water www.apostle.com.au, eat 5-9 cups of fruits and vegetables, enough lean protein at each meal, complex carbohydrates at breakfast and lunch, and some healthy fats and oils.
Take natural nutritional supplements that support your brain and adrenal glands and assist your body to cleanse out the toxins that build up from stress with the Isagenix cleanse and replenishing program. Contact the RedHOT Health team at firstname.lastname@example.org for the program that can help you reduce your stress.
Dedicate yourself to exercising and stretching your heart, lungs and muscles 3-4 times a week.
Get some fun and laughter in your day.
Listen to your favourite relaxing music.
Find some quite time to relax.
Attend Stress Less workshops.
Give your family and pet a big hug and lots of love.
Look for all the positives in your life and be grateful for being alive.
Be kind and caring and treat others the way you would like to be treated.
Smile all day as the endorphin shower it releases is better than heroin.
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