Stress is recognized as the number one killer today. The American Medical Association has stated that stress is the cause of 80-85% of all human illness and disease.
Stress sends our bodies into an alarm reaction also called fight or flight response, and the body releases adrenaline, causing muscle tension, raised heart beat, increased breathing and perspiration, eyes dilate and the stomach may clench.
If the cause of the stress is not removed the body runs our of its reserve of body energy and immunity, and the body experiences “adrenal exhaustion”. This leads to decreased stress tolerance, pregressive mental and physical exhaustion, illness and collapse.
Running on Adrenaline
Adrenaline is designed to give us the energy necessary to survive life-threatening situations. When we are in a state of constant anxiety, the adrenal glands work overtime. Many of us are so tired out by our busy lives that we maintain an anxious state just to get the extra boost. We may even become dependent on adrenaline as our primary source of energy.
The problem is that our bodies are designed to use adrenaline only occasionally, for short periods of time. Overusing it stresses the adrenal glands, causing a variety of health problems — some of them serious.
Some of the ways we keep our adrenaline pumping are:
• Rushing from one task to another
• Living with a constant hum of anxiety – the feeling that there is something we should be doing.
• Tolerating poor sleep patterns.
• Constantly checking voice or e-mail.
• Consuming junk food, caffeine and sugar.
• There are several tangible steps you can take to slow down:
• Get a physical that includes an adrenal stress index saliva test.
• Slow down in everything you do: walking, talking, writing, etc.
• Practice deep breathing.
• Take a warm bath.
• Use relaxation tapes.
• Remove distractions (such as ringing phones, TV, etc.)
• Clear away clutter to create visual clarity.
• Shut the office door.
• Check your voice/e-mail only at appointed times. Turn off for 2 hours per day.
• Do not schedule appointments back to back.
• Stop juggling tasks – do complete work.
• Maintain boundries — start saying no.
Pick two items from the above list to experiment over the next 7 days and of course if they help put them into daily practice.
1. Purchase a journal to record your experiences.
2. Set aside time for yourself. Use your calendar to block out “time” for yourself every week for the next three months. An hour a week that you do not allow yourself now will turn into sacred time that you truly look forward to.
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