Dr. Steve Maraboli, a motivational speaker, bestselling author and Behavioral Science Academic is quoted as saying: “I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety and fear.” I couldn’t agree more. These emotional disruptors to the happy beings we are intended to become, sometimes scream louder than the healthier thoughts. Sometimes, no – more like often – our emotional balance is determined by our physical health.
Stress kills. So some say. But is it stress, or our response to stress? We all get stress at one time or another, and for many it’s constant, moving from one stressful event or time period to another. But according to Hans Selye, known as the “Father of the Stress Theory”, “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” We’ve all known people who deal with stress quite well. They can have a multitude of stressful life situations piled on top of them, yet they appear emotionally unscathed. Others, a little stress puts them over the edge.
While personality and the ability to move through our stressful times play a vital role in our stress response, the health of our body does too.
Stress is interpreted by the body as a flight or fight response. Anything not needed to run or fight gets shut down or minimized. That includes digestion, immunity, and some parts of brain function. Once in a while, this is okay, but chronically, stress breaks down these and other parts of the body, increasing the risk of cardiovascular events, cancer, diabetes and can cause other serious health consequences over time. However, the healthier we are, the more likely we will come through it with minimal negative impact on our health.
There are several organs in the body responsible for the emotions of stress, anxiety, and depression and the response to the chemical changes that happen as a result of acute and chronic stress. Feeding those organs and supporting their health goes a long way in ameliorating the effects of them.
A couple of things in Dr. Maraboli’s quote at the beginning were “Nothing is worth diminishing your health” and “Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety and fear”. Sometimes we poison our bodies with a diet full of chemicals for flavor or processing that slows down or inhibits healthy functioning. Other times it’s not just poisoning ourselves with these chemicals, but not providing dense nutrients to support health. In times of stress, anxiety and/or depression, we, instead of supporting ourselves through it, sabotage our health. To get through these tough times, we need to eat well, exercise more, rest more, find joy in some activity, but when hit with these times, instead, we do the opposite. We eat fast food, neglect exercise, stay up late and work harder with less time to play. We are our own worst enemies!
©2020 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.