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The destructive nature of stress, and what you can do about it!

Posted Jan 27 2011 7:42pm

What has once helped us survive, is now a nemesis in all our lives. Stress is real, dangerous and scientifically measurable. Chronic stress will shrink your brain, add fat to our bellies and even unravel the telomeres of our chromosomes. Blame it on psychosocial stimuli, but the fact remains the same, stress will kill you! There are two predominant hormones secreted from the adrenal glands when we are under stress. 1. Norepinephrine and 2. Glucocorticoids. By not shutting down our stress,we wallow in a toxic bath of  deadly hormones. Unlike animals who use stress as a survival mechanism, we humans cannot easily shut it off.  Our goal in life should to find the right stress stimuli and to turn off the bad stress. When the body is under the influence of stress, the body reacts by supressing the immune system.  Common results are gastrointestinal problems, and narrowing and atherosclerosis in the arteries due to an increase in blood pressure. Researcher Dr Bruce McCuen of Rockefeller University has also found that chronic stress also causes brain damage, specifically to the hippocampus. The Hippocampus controls our capacity to remember things. Moreover, researchers have found dopamine or pleasure receptors in the brain are dramatically diminished when humans are under stress.

From a health and fitness standpoint, the is a definite link between chronic stress and abdominal weight gain. Researcher Sir Micharel Marmont at the University College Medical School in London, and Carol Shivley at Wake Forest University have shown that stress will determine how and where you distribute fat on your body. And stress fat because of its hormone laden nature, is far more dangerous than fat deposited elsewhere.

The key to eliminating stress related obesity, is to value stress reduction. Humans have a tendency to find value in being able to multi task and take on more than is really necessary. this creates undue stress. We have to learn to value a more balanced and serene lifestyle.. A life that involved fitness, proper eating habits and active rest.  The sad truth is that stress not only affects  fat cell storage capacity, but also our brain chemistry, how vulnerable we are to depression,  and even our ability to still learn as an adult.

So what can you do about stress? To begin with, identify your personal triggers and eliminate them.  Don’t torture yourself by working a 100 hours per week. Find a job that you truly enjoy, versus the big paycheck. Take more vacations to allow you to rejuvenate your life.  Spend time with good friends and family. Give rather than receive. and last but not least, condition your body properly with healthy nutritious food,s and a daily dose of exercise to stimulate the body in a very healthy way.

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