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‘Who took the jam out of your donut’?

The definition of stress is anything that requires us to adapt and make changes to our habits, routines, thought processes, and lifestyles. It is also anything that requires the delicate systems of the body to adapt to new chemicals and processes from environmental pollution, drugs and other external toxins, plus internal toxicity resulting from poor diet, dysbiosis or ill health, as well as an increase in stress hormones such as cortical and adrenalin.  A certain amount of stress or pressure in life is necessary to drive, motivate and stimulate a positive adaptation. It is defined as a person’s response to their environment and is measured in terms of arousal or stimulation. Every individual has their own homeostatic level of stress at which they function optimally. When stress is intense or unresolved it has a negative impact physiologically and emotionally.

The brain is the first part of the body to respond to stress; it does this in two ways. Firstly, by stimulating a release of the stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline resulting in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and blood flow to the muscles and brain. During chronic stress this allows bacteria, viruses or tumours to flourish and makes blood more prone to clotting. The second response is the release of cortisol and other steroids, which in excess promotes the accumulation of abdominal fat, suppresses immunity, shrink brain cells and impairs memory.

‘Did anyone get the number of that bus that hit me!’

Stress has also been attributed to increased depression; phobias; chemical dependency; heart disease; cancer; migraines; irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); ulcers; insomnia; gastric reflux; sexual dysfunction; and infertility.  Your mind, your heart and your soul was not made to carry the weight of the world.  Acute stress is like running away from a tiger to attack you fight or flight, there is a beginning and an end.  During chronic stress, you can never get away from the tiger it is relentlessly starking you constantly coming for you and you rarely get the chance to relax and recover. Not at peace and not at ease trapped in a fear, negativity and unhappiness spiral.  The ‘no-cebo’ effect is the consequence of negative thought.  Adrenal body type people tend to have muscle wastage (loss) from the buttocks, thighs and quadriceps areas developing skinny legs with no butt and fat gain around the abdomen appearance.  Stress occurs when we choice to see our day with the perception of pressure (difficulty) and urgency. What you resist persists, more resistance the more suffering.  Health vitality and optimal performance or Homesis – for an organism to thrive needs the perfect amount of balanced stress.  Not too much, not too little, but just right stress!

There are three phases of stress: the cortisol slope

Phase 1 – Alarm phase: activation/reaction when a stressful event occurs, this is the time of increased adrenaline, reflexes and resistance. This is the fright-flight-fight response, high cortisol, DHEA, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.  Acute ‘healthy stress’ or ‘hormesis’ helps get the body prepared for similar future stressors cauing super-compensation that makes the body stronger.  Short term stress can also increase endorphins as well, giving you a greater sense of wellbeing.  Mild exercise is a good example of this healthy response.  Saliva cortisol should be high in the morning and then slop downward through out the day, this hormone test is a good guide to access the degree of stress adaption.  The instinctive reptilian part of the lower brain stem dominates ability to think clear and reationally are affect causing impulsing and irrational descion making.

Stress elevates blood pressure and diverts our blood supply away from our digestion to our peripheries to prepare us to power up to get away from danger.

Phase 2 – Resistance phase: “Robbing Peter to pay Paul” Wired and Tired. Repeated or chronic stress results in the need to develop ‘mental and physical coping’ strategies to manage or ‘resist’ the continued stress.  Reduced cortisol, serotonin; increased brain corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRF), tissue cortisol and adrenaline (leads to peripheral resistance).  During stress the body requires a fast burning fuel source and switches to glucose.  The body loses the effective ability to use fat as the preferred energy source and slows the metabolism.  During times of excessive stress and fear the body is not in a conducive state to create.  Fear burns up your internal resources leading to inflammation > shuts down of the immune system > progressing to illness.       

Phase 3 – Exhaustion phase: “The house of cards is falling” Burnout and shut down.  If the stress or strain goes beyond the resistance phase, organ damage, immune suppression and other ill effects such as inability to function socially and mentally occurs. This often is described as ‘adrenal exhaustion’. Some examples of exhaustion phase may include conditions such as: Chronic fatigue syndrome; nervous breakdown and burn out.  Elevated CRF, adrenocorticothrophic hormone (ACTH), cortisol; may have low DHEA, serotonin, adrenaline and noradrenaline. Growth hormones and endorphins reduce causing rapid aging.

During stress constantly raised cortisol will increase weight gain > digestive functions are suppressed leading to poor nutrition absortion and evently pathology conditions such as leaky gut inflammatory bowel diseases; > immune functions becomes suppressed making you weak and vulnerable to auto-immune disorders or infection. > The reproductive functions become suppressed as they are not necessary during stress and the ability to sustain quality sleep is compromised. Brains cells begin the shrink.  Exhaustive phase of stress is usually brought about by visious chronic stress plus a sequence of traumatic live events eg (physical assault, loss of a pregnancy, death of a loved one, failing business, toxic relationships, frenemies, going through divorce, lack of cash flow, injury, problem avoidance, procrastination, carrying guilt and shame from the past, victim martyr mentality, unforgiveness, lacking joy in your life, overcommitting ‘fear of missing out’ saying ‘yes’ to everything, people pleasure, learn to say ‘NO’).  BOMAP – ‘Burnt-out middle-aged professional.  When we live in a state of survival mode, we become less trusting and more selfish. We are being programmed into a constant state of fear.  Fear and misperception create a less intelligent population. Governments don’t want a healthy, intelligent population because it makes us to become difficult to control.

Stress can destroy much more than just our physical health.  Too often, it eats away at our hope, belief, and faith.”  –  Charles F. Glassman.

The Effect of Stress on our Bodies – assault on our senses

Stressors on our bodies come in many forms and inevitably influences daily life:

* Chemical * Electromagnetic * Emotional * Physical

Stress generates many free radicals, which in turn will cause oxidative stress, and the aftermath will be degenerative disease. Our body responds to acute stress by stimulating the sympathetic system, which releases norepinephrine (adrenalin precursor), which in turn together with stress stimulates the hypothalamus to secrete ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) to stimulate the adrenals in order to make cortisol and DHEA.  The inverse hormone to cortisol is Oxytocin.  Excessive stress levels during the time of conception can affect the male’s pituitary gland function thereby inhibiting the action of sperm being mixed with the seminal fluids leading to little or no sperm in the semen.

Stress can also cause chemical alterations in the female body contributing to conditions such as amenorrhoea (absence of menstrual periods), delayed or irregular ovulation, and even anovulation (where no ovulation takes place during that cycle). During prolonged chronic stress the body will tap into your cholesterol stores which will leave little in reserve for other bodily functions.  Cholesterol is essential to be replaced when the body is in adrenal exhaustion.

DHEA or Dehydroepiandrosterone is a naturally occurring hormone in the body that has much claim as an antidote to the diseases of aging and as a whole-body rejuvenator. It is the most abundant hormone or steroid found in the bloodstream. DHEA works synergistically with other naturally occurring hormones such as melatonin and human growth hormone (HGH). DHEA is an essential building block for sex and other hormones such as oestrogen and testosterone.  DHEA is made from cholesterol in the adrenal glands (above the kidneys). Initially pregnenolone is manufactured from cholesterol, and from Pregnenolone to progesterone. An enzyme 17-alpha – hydroxylase also converts pregnenolone to hydroxypregnoenolone and then on to DHEA.

Correct mitochondrial cell function is essential for this conversion process to be efficient.  The DHEA can convert down the Andosterenedione pathway, which further converts into the different types of eostrogens, or DHEA can convert to Androstenediol that then follows to the testosterone pathway. Progesterone goes on to produce cortisol, aldosterone, and indirectly to oestrogen and testosterone. Aldosterone is important in the balance of electrolytes and minerals in the body.

Cortisol is released by adrenals as a response to stress.  Cortisol in normal levels is vital for our daily functions. In times of stress our body provides glucose as the primary source of energy. If cortisol (that is very acidic) is constantly at a high level, it affects our amount of glucose from all stores in the body. When the glucose stores are depleted then it turns to your muscles to break down protein to produce energy.  This results in ongoing loss of muscle bulk and development of flabby muscles.  Sustained adrenaline leads to raised cortisol. When cortisol is elevated creates a ‘stress loop’ that shuts down our digestive system functions leading to altered mood, behaviour, increases weight gain, inflammation and a weakened immune system causing reducing protection against infections.

The pain of change and responsibility can be overwhelming, most would rather avoid the pain of change rather then get to the pleasure that we really seek. We experience selective memory or cognitive bias by emotionally connecting at the peak and the end of a moment and not the total of the overall event.  The inner feelings in our heart and body mirrors our external world.  Feeling the feeling you want to have will create and manifest your world around you. The stress hormones during the first 90 seconds to two minutes of a stress response affect over 1,200 chemicals in the body that alters how we think and feel.  When you live by stress you become object focused on danger, your body, environment and time.  You become fearful, selfish and lose creativity.

Relationship dynamics beyond psychological stress

Chronic stress and brain inflammation will lead to hypocortisolaemia – this will cause atrophy (shrinkage) of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of the brain leading to symptoms such as chronic fatigue syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), atypical depression, irritable bowel, and fibromyalgia. The amygdala increases emotions of fear & worry that lead to poor decision making.

The hypothalamus gland is particularly affected during responses to stress on the body. This gland has many vital functions, some of which are appetite regulation, temperature control and emotional responses. The hypothalamus manufactures gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) responsible for signaling the release of luteinzing hormone (LH) and Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) for the pituitary gland. This stress reaction in turn disrupts pituitary gland activity that may cause an elevation of hormones like prolactin.  LH and FSH stimulate the gonads (ovaries in women, testes inmen) to release sex hormones (oestrogen and androgens). Chronic stress can significantly disrupt this hormone feed back loop. The female reproductive system may respond by altering various vaginal and uterine secretions. These secretions can hinder the release of enzymes necessary for the sperm to penetrate the ovum’s outer surfaces.

This process is known as ‘Capacitation’. Furthermore, stress can also affect the progression and transport of the sperm and ovum through the fallopian tube on its way to the uterine lining for implantation. The hypothalamus-pituitary axis interplays with other glands and organs such as the adrenals. When the adrenal gland activity is excessive, such as during nervous tension, hormones like aldosterone are released in larger than normal quantities.  Various nutrients are then compromised from being absorbed properly or are excreted more rapidly than usual, thus contributing to a vicious cycle of further inappropriate physical and chemical reactions if the stress reaction is not brought into balance effectively.

When a female is in a healthy, happy relationship “Pair Bonding” and feels loved and appreciated this stimulates the hormone/neurotransmitter oxytosin. Oxytosin reduces elevated cortisol and testosterone, helping bring oestrogen and then progesterone (the female brain calming hormone) into balance leading to lowered stress levels. If a woman’s testosterone is too elevated in the first half of her cycle then this may lead to increased stress and around day 10 of a women’s cycle her oestrogen will start to spike, elevated oestrogen before ovuation down regulates serotonin receptor sites which increases the desire to make a baby.  After ovulation, the body makes progesterone to help calm the brain and mangage stress until the next cycle begins. The hormone vasopressin is released which control water balance, enhances mental clarity, attention to detail, and make you feel more attractive.

Testosterone in men could be decribed as there “$uccess hormone”; men make testosterone when they feel they are successful – “Men need to be HEROS.”  This leading to the best in male behaviour – confidence more caring, raised interest in their partner, loving romantic feelings, heightened libido, drive to achieve and advance in work, sport and play. Reversely, feelings of failure reduce male’s testosterone and increase his oestrogen levels. This brings out the worse in male behaviour, increased moodiness, laziness, and irritability; feeling unmotivated, diminished libido; lose of joy in life; lack of self-love; developing “grumpy old man syndrome”.

Aggression occurs when a male’s fight and flight – ‘I’m in danger’ stress response is triggered, the testosterone level’s spike too high.

Testosterone is good to have in appropriate amounts to a point – testosterone gives men calmness, coolness, detachment, motivation, and faster reaction time until he loses his confidence and doesn’t know what to do!  The body releases an enzyme aromatase which then converts the testosterone in his brain to eostrogen.  A sudden surge in eostrogen in males causes huge anger, fear, grief and depression, some of the worst traits in men on an emotional level. This occurs when a man is not anchored in his masculinity and feels frustrated.

Currently the most expensive health problem in the world to treat is DEPRESSION.  Since 1987 ironically the same year that “Prozac” was released, reported cases of depression have increased 400 per cent during this time?

A new form of modern-day sickness that can greatly affect mental health is Digital information and social media overload – The mind is constantly multitasking suffering more stress and sleeplessness than ever before from information coming at use at dizzying speeds and the brain can’t switch into leisure time mode.  The modern saying goes ‘The faster you can learn, the faster you can earn.’  Constantly trying to keep up with the rest of the world.  Googles CEO has stated that the information content online is multiplying at such an expedential rate the total accumulated history of humanity is today created every 2 days.   Strategies to manage this excessive information exposure needs to be become part of your overall mental and physical health regime.

Our body tries to stay in a state of balance so called homeostasis. However, as the stress becomes chronic the body goes through adaptation and exhaustion stages. When stress is chronic and at the stage of adaptation, there is excess secretion of ACTH and cortisol, but DHEA levels are stable. Adaptation brings along some ill effects including abnormal blood sugar, the beginning of osteoporosis, and an increase in body fat deposition, salt and water retention and lower immune system. At the exhaustion stage, there are constant high levels of cortisol, but on the other hand DHEA is decreased and insulin becomes erratic. Your immune system is now quite weak hence becoming prone to infection. You are in danger of developing coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome and other degenerative diseases. One of the most valuable assets a person can have in life is the ability to be relaxed, poised, and centred. This ‘centring’ “mindfulness” or concentration can bring even the most difficult of tasks within your capabilities.  If you have been attempting to fall pregnant and things are just not happening, change your routine, TAKE A LONG WELL-DESERVED HOLIDAY.

If I had a dollar for each time a couple changed their daily routine and relaxed their minds and a pregnancy soon occurred thereafter, I would be able to afford to kick back myself to sip cocktails on the sunny beaches of Tahiti (dream on)!  “Life is constantly throwing stuff at use you can either bounce or go splat the choice is yours, improving your resilience stacks the odds in your favour to help cushion you from the blows!”  “When women can give LOVE, feel safe and authentic in their relationship, feel freedom to express herself this will lower her stress levels; being the HERO will lower a male’s stress levels.”

Behaviour – before the age of seven years of life the childs brain is in a state called Vaada (imagination / hypnosis) we are ‘ego-centric’ this is how we observe and make sense of our surrounding environment and this imprints our future behavioural programming.  Your beliefs create your experience, after the age of seven the reticular activating system (ARAS) part of the brain looks for the experiences that it has been programmed to search for.  The conscious creative mind and subconscious program mind than transition in.

Don’t compare your life for what you don’t have but rather what more you have than ones that are less fortunate than you are.  You need to forgive yourself and others, excessive stress and resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill someone else. As you change your mind you change your chemisty, the chemistry controls your life!  You can rewire your brain which can change you from the inside out.  If I changes my mind will it change my choices, if I change my choices will my life change.  Why can’t I change what am I addicted too what will I loss that I’m chemically attached to and what person place a time or event that I’m chemically attached to that I don’t want to loss because I may have to experience the chemical withdrawal from that!  Reset and heal your heart by choosing happy and positive thoughts.

Let go of the resentment, bitterness and addiction to human melodrama.  Don’t be afraid to forgive, hope, be inspired and open up to the multiverse of limitless possibilities.  Your consciousness effects everything, how far down the rabbit whole do you want to go.  Don’t settle for limited beliefs, a mediocre life, and develop your gift of potentiality!  Transformation is the moment you learn how to retrain your subconscious and is the moment you are free because you become the programmer of your life.

When you are in a state of stress you focus on what you don’t want to have happen rather than focusing on what you do what to have happen. DHEA or Dehydroepiandrosterone is a naturally occurring hormone in the body that has much claim as an antidote to the diseases of aging and as a whole-body rejuvenator. It is the most abundant hormone or steroid found in the bloodstream. DHEA works synergistically with other naturally occurring hormones such as melatonin and human growth hormone (HGH). DHEA is an essential building block for sex and other hormones such as oestrogen and testosterone.  DHEA is made from cholesterol in the adrenal glands (above the kidneys). Initially pregnenolone is manufactured from cholesterol, and from Pregnenolone to progesterone. An enzyme 17-alpha – hydroxylase also converts pregnenolone to hydroxypregnoenolone and then on to DHEA.

Correct mitochondrial cell function is essential for this conversion process to be efficient.  The DHEA can convert down the Andosterenedione pathway, which further converts into the different types of eostrogens, or DHEA can convert to Androstenediol that then follows to the testosterone pathway. Progesterone goes on to produce cortisol, aldosterone, and indirectly to oestrogen and testosterone.

Aldosterone is important in the balance of electrolytes and minerals in the body.

Cortisol is released by adrenals as a response to stress.  Cortisol in normal levels is vital for our daily functions. In times of stress our body provides glucose as the primary source of energy. If cortisol (that is very acidic) is constantly at a high level, it affects our amount of glucose from all stores in the body. When the glucose stores are depleted then it turns to your muscles to break down protein to produce energy.  This results in ongoing loss of muscle bulk and development of flabby muscles.  Sustained adrenaline leads to raised cortisol. When cortisol is elevated creates a ‘stress loop’ that shuts down our digestive system functions leading to altered mood, behaviour, increases weight gain, inflammation and a weakened immune system causing reducing protection against infections.

The pain of change and responsibility can be overwhelming, most would rather avoid the pain of change rather then get to the pleasure that we really seek.

We experience selective memory or cognitive bias by emotionally connecting at the peak and the end of a moment and not the total of the overall event.

The inner feelings in our heart and body mirrors our external world.  Feeling the feeling you want to have will create and manifest your world around you. The stress hormones during the first 90 seconds to two minutes of a stress response affect over 1,200 chemicals in the body that alters how we think and feel.  When you live by stress you become object focused on danger, your body, environment and time.  You become fearful, selfish and lose creativity.