Ever stopped to think about how stress affects the body - how it affects your health, wellness and your longevity?
Understand that your body is constantly eavesdropping on your thoughts and instantaneously responding at a biological level with either health-eroding or health-enhancing biochemistry and that's when you can master ageless living.
When you're in a state of stress, anxiety or fear every process in your body changes. Your body is either in survival mode - when it's protecting you from a perceived danger, or it's in what I think of as 'thrival' mode. But it can't be in both protection and growth mode at the same time. When it's in survival mode, it constricts your blood supply and diverts blood preferentially away from your viscera (your stomach, blood and other organs) to fuel your muscles in your legs and arms. For the time it's in stress mode your breathing is shallower, your digestive and immune systems are retarded, your heart rate changes as do your brainwaves, and even the DNA is affected.
When you are in 'thrival' or relaxed mode, your body us functioning optimally: your heart beats coherently and delivers blood, oxygen and nutrients efficiently, to nourish and replenish your entire cellular system. In other words your body is being serviced optimally.
But it all starts in your brain. Because it doesn't know the difference between what is real and what is imagined, it's your powerful thoughts -the source of your stress that will determine how your body is functioning. It's our powerful beliefs that change our biochemistry moment by moment.
When 34 college students were told that a non-existent electrical current was being passed through their heads might result in a headache - it did in 60% of them.
*In Japan in a sample of 57 high school boys, those who reported having a sever reaction to poison oak or poison ivy were blindfolded while researchers brushed one arm with a chestnut branch but told them it was from a lacquer tree, the other they brushed with the lacquer tree but told the students it was from a chestnut tree. "Within minutes the arm the boys believed to have been exposed to the poisonous tree began to react, turning red and developing a bumpy, itchy rash. In most cases the arm that had contact with the actual poison did not react." Our powerful thoughts are how stress affects the body, even our visible course of disease and ultimately our biology.
In both cases, the belief of harm is stressful which activates stress hormones and at a biological levels that's how stress affects the health and longevity of our bodies. Let me give you yet another example, the stress of living as a chronic dieter has been documented to reduce the length of our DNA telomeres. DNA telomeres are what keep our DNA from fraying and the longer they are the more often your DNA can replicate. The more often your DNA can replicate the longer you will live. So how the stress of dieting (and other stresses) affects our body, reduces our longevity.
* Gardiner Morse, "The nocebo effect," Hippocrates, November 1999,
With newer scientific paradigms, ideas about how quantum energy works, are becoming more and more mainstream, as people start to grasp that our powerful thoughts are powerful energy. And not only are they energy but they manifest in powerful ways. For example when psychologist Becka Levy divided people into 2 groups based on their beliefs about aging....the group who embraced old age and had positive beliefs about it lived on average 7.5 years longer than those who were negative towards aging. This power of belief was a more powerful health and longevity measure than exercising, diet, smoking, and even controlling for cholesterol.
Simply put our body is changed at a biological functioning level simply by our stressful or relaxed thoughts and beliefs alone.
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