“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.”
− The late comedian George Burns, who lived to 100
According to an article by the Heart Institution (https://heartmdinstitute.com/stress-relief/what-stress-can-do-to-your-body/), the physiological changes produced by stress include increased heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and muscle tension that serve to supply adequate blood to your brain and musculoskeletal system. Higher levels of free fatty acids and blood sugar are released to provide immediate energy to survive the perceived emergency. This is what we call the well-known “fight or flight response.”
Long-term chronic stress can wreck your nervous system through a cyclic adrenaline rush. It can cause oxidative damage to tissues in the body that leads to inflammation. It can stoke symptoms such as headache, achy neck, ulcer, allergies, and diminished sexual desire. Eventually, your body will adapt to a continued state of vigilance by producing an excess amount of the stress hormone cortisol. Too much stress, over time, can exhaust you (you “burn out”), your adrenal glands where cortisol is produced, and accelerate the aging process, harm your immune system, and even shrink vital brain tissue resulting in memory loss and problems with concentration.
This scenario is the leading but often overlooked cause of insomnia and a major contributor to mental ills (depression, obsessive compulsive and anxiety disorders), as well as physical diseases ranging from the common cold, recurrent herpes and obesity, to AIDS and cancer. It is hard to think of any disease in which stress cannot play a precipitating or aggravating role.
What develops is a vicious cycle. Add in sedentary living, sleep deprivation, abuse of stimulants, hostility, smoking, social isolation, and an unhealthy diet, and things really do go downhill.
Can Stress Kill You?
Absolutely…Acute stress is the leading cause of sudden death, especially in young healthy people with no evidence of coronary disease. But it can fell people at any age. My grandmother is an example.
Chronic stress causes heart disease. It is a clandestine cause − not fat or cholesterol − of heart attacks and arterial disease. It contributes to high blood pressure (hypertension), a risk factor for cardiovascular problems such as heart failure and sudden cardiac death and heart enlargement.
Long-term depression significantly increases the risk of heart disease. Among other effects, it actually triples the disease producing effect of smoking.
In cardiology, stress is a grim reaper that abruptly ends life by rupturing unstable plaque in a vital vessel or by triggering a lethal disturbance in heart rhythm.
When you get fired up emotionally, you’re putting a torch to your arteries. Medical research has repeatedly documented the danger of anger, chronic stress, and the negative emotional states. Yet these risk factors are rarely addressed by doctors.
How We React to Stress?
Stress comes and goes in all our lives. Your ability to adapt well to things that stress you is key for a good quality of life and health preservation. If you don’t adapt, stress can surely kill. I have no doubt whatsoever.
As a complementary resource, I have attached a resource, an eBook that you can download and use the content to help you deal with stress. In the book, I use the magical tools of EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique, with simplified scripts that you can follow to tap as you tune into an issue that is stressing you.
Please click HERE to leave your details where I can email the free ebook.
Remember, nothing happens if nothing moves.
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Love and light