Posted on May 30th, 2006

Ready? Set? GO!

Another crazy day has begun. Once again, you find yourself stressed to the point of pulling your hair out, or maybe crying.

What’s happening inside your body right now? Why do you feel so lousy?

Well, when you start stressing out, the first thing that happens physically is that you stop breathing properly. You won’t drop dead (not from lack of breathing, anyway), because the body still remembers it has to breathe a bit in order to survive, but your breathing becomes shallow.

Now, the problem with that is that breathing brings oxygen into the body, and oxygen is the body’s source of energy. When you don’t breathe enough, you have no energy, and the body’s functions suffer.

Stress also hurts your immune system: when your breathing isn’t quite as deep as may be desired, there is less movement in the chest area (less breathing means less movement of the lungs and diaphragm), and the thymus gland, which has a big role in the immune system, gets massaged less. While you may be quite able to live without getting a massage every day, your thymus gland is not. So when you are stressed over large periods of time, your immune system is weakened, and a weak immune system has a hard time keeping you healthy.

Also, when you’re stressed, the body starts producing stress hormones. That is very nice, of course, except for the fact that the manufacturing of these hormones takes up resources that would otherwise be used to make other kinds of hormones. Sometimes it can be sex hormones, for instance, and then people find that their periods have lost their regularity (women, usually), or that they’ve become impotent (men). The manufacturing of other kinds of hormones is, of course, also affected by the mass production of stress hormones.

Stress also creates energetic blockings in and around your body. In times of stress, the chakras close down and meridians are blocked. There is no flow of energy around the body, no renewal of energy. And when there is no renewal there is deterioration, because energy doesn’t sit around waiting, it flows, moves on to other places. So you end up with no energy, feeling down.

So, what can you do about it?

First and foremost, you should be aware of it. Then, do something about it.

You can start by taking deeper breaths whenever you remember to. This will help with immediate relief, and give your body some of the oxygen it’s been craving.

You can continue by learning to manage stress. You will find an abundance of ways and techniques that teach stress management. Pick one that you find suitable and go with it. It just might help you restore your peace of mind and your health. Good luck!

Copyright 2005 by Dvora Ifat and Shunit Ben-Tzvi

Dvora Ifat and Shunit Ben-Tzvi are co-authors of "No Stress! How to Save Tons of Money on Shrinks and Doctors - Just by Reducing Stress!", a web authority on stress management and relief.

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