Stress reaction is not sexy (Learn to turn it off)

Are you overwhelmed, stressed out and running in circles? Has stress wreaked havoc with your self esteem? Do you want to get your sexy on but don’t have the energy to put your shoes on?

You are not alone, the American Institute of Stress has called Stress the epidemic of the 20th and now the 21st Century. What is it about this primitive, survival response called the stress reaction that we have not yet learned?

First, stress by itself is a good thing. It is chronic unrelenting stress that has long term negative consequences.  The stress reaction is actually a primitive response designed for survival. Then threatened your body goes into a reaction mode to fight or flee.  Problem is your primitive brain does not know the difference between real or imagined danger. Your cortex or your thinking brain does not always have a good relationship with the survival instinct and so it cannot help you when the stress effect takes hold.

At the sound of the stress alarm your body goes into battle mode. Blood rushes to your muscles and away from your digestive system, your immune system, your heart rate goes up and your breathing becomes shallow. Cortisol keeps the glucose circulating in your bloodstream to provide more fuel to your brain.

Ideally, your body returns to normal when the stressor ends. Today, the threats are more imagined than real and there is no end to the stress effect. In today’s world the threats comes from the perception of the event, relationships, financial troubles, loss, transition, uncertainty and the increased demands many face on the job.

Regardless of how “real” the threat is to your actual survival, your body reacts in the exact same way. Eventually this exacts a toll on your physical, emotional and spiritual being. The stress reaction was never intended to be prolonged and as a result, many health challenges can result such as depression, anxiety, insomnia as well as increased risk of digestive disorders, heart disease and obesity.

The first step in changing your reaction to stress is to recognize the stress. What are your triggers? We are all unique and so is how we perceive and respond to our world around us. Most of the time it is the little daily aggravating assaults that add up that create the biggest problem. These types of stressors are usually ignored until they pile up and cause a melt down or a reaction.

Once you’ve identified your stress triggers, decide to do something different as a result. It you become irritable when watching the evening news, turn it off and read the paper instead to get your information. Alternate your route home from work and avoid the traffic jams.  Get back to basics when it comes to diet and lifestyle, eat whole fresh food, drink lots of water and get 8-9 hours of sleep a night.

Your body and mind will respond in kind when you tune in and take care of yourself. Get your sexy on and start dancing, moving and exercising. The stress reaction may be primitive, but your reaction does not have to continue to wreak havoc in your life. Get your sexy on with a new way to manage your life.


The HEAL program provides online tools to change your reaction to life. Check it out and get your sexy back! Click for details.

About the Author Cynthia Howard RN, CNC, PhD

I help individuals master their mindset and move beyond the barriers that keep them from their true potential. Let me help you go beyond the B.S. - Belief Systems that limit your potential.

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