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Signs of Stress

Signs of Stress

Humans can withstand extraordinary stresses from the environment, but if we are pushed too far, our stress response turns on our own bodies and begins to create breakdowns both mentally and physically.

The human brain retains a primitive memory that is programmed to cope with every stress in basically the same way as our ancestors coped with saber-toothed tigers.

Most of the time, your cells are occupied with renewal – roughly 90 percent of a cell’s energy normally goes to building new proteins and manufacturing new DNA and RNA. When the brain perceives threat, however, the process of building is set aside. Whatever you decide to do in fight-or-flight situations, your body needs a massive burst of energy to propel your muscles. To allow this, the normal style of metabolism that builds the body, called anabolic metabolism, converts to its opposite, catabolic metabolism, which breaks down tissues.

Adrenalin launches a cascade of responses – blood pressure rises, muscles tense, breathing becomes shallow and rapid, sexual desire and hunger are suppressed, digestion stops, the brain becomes hyperalert and the senses uncannily clear.

What is so striking about the accumulated consequences of stress is that taken all together they look very much like growing old. Hypertension, ulcers, impotence, wasted muscles, and diabetes are common signs of aging. The elderly have lower disease resistance, and senility seems directly connected to lost or damaged neurons in the brain. Old people appear like shell-shock victims, exhausted by overlong exposure to the struggle of life.

Whenever stress is blamed for an ailment, people jump to the conclusion that the problem is too much stress, but in fact the fault lies with the body’s coping mechanism. The theory of stress must be modified to include the mind-body connection, for such invisible elements as interpretation, belief, and attitude are enormously important in the actual workings of the stress response.

Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1998).

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Spirit,

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

76 comments

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7:09AM PST on Dec 5, 2012

very true

7:04AM PST on Dec 5, 2012

Stress is prevalent and we can show you ways to reduce it with our stress management training
http://www.atoneholistictherapy.co.uk/stress-management-training/

9:57PM PST on Nov 21, 2012

it's all about balance...and i'm still striving for it...i get stressed so easily and i know it's taking years off my life...

7:01PM PST on Nov 20, 2012

Thanks :)

7:57PM PST on Nov 19, 2012

ty

1:50AM PST on Nov 19, 2012

Thanks for posting.

12:53AM PST on Nov 19, 2012

thanks for posting

8:10PM PST on Nov 18, 2012

Thanks

2:33AM PST on Nov 18, 2012

Short term stress is ok but not stress on a long term basis. I've been so stressed out over my work at one point in my life that I cracked 2 of my molars through teeth-grinding in my sleep! I've since learnt how to handle stress better. One of the ways is to live life positively. Always look at the positive side of things. Another is exercise. Nothing like a good sweating session to beat stress.

But I think the most important thing to remember is that stress and money-making is relative. The more money you want to make, the more stress you will get. So strike a balance.

6:19AM PST on Nov 17, 2012

As a teenage school boy I found the ups and downs in mood to be too fast too graph as hormones raged. I had read in a newspaper that hospitals in the UK were painted green because it had been found that this colour relaxed the patients. I thought it would be a great idea to stare at a piece of green paper in order to relax myself, but green cardboard from the stationery shop had no effect. Undeterred, I tried other colours and came upon one which did relax me. I then set about testing the colours of the rainbow in the stationery shop on other people that were stressed and found that everyone has a colour of cardboard that has a soporific affect. The Tension Sheet was born. I soon carried out a test on those with high blood pressure, and found that The Tension Sheet reduced the blood pressure to lower than normal figures in just minutes and recommend that a tension sheet is carried at all times, and that a chill-out room should be painted in the right colour in every tension sufferers home. It is certainly easier to stare at a correctly coloured piece of cardboard or wall for a few minutes than the interference with breathing patterns that most mediation involves. And it has better results. The Tension Sheet was also the first treatment I invented for mental illness and cured several homeless people with it in my school town. Both their own Doctors and local Clergy verified that they were cured. The mechanism for the cure is probably that the brain is relaxed by the Tension Sh

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