A Balanced Approach to Wellness!

Posts tagged ‘stress’

What’s up with “fight or flight”?

Distracting colors

Are “fight or flight” our main responses to fear and stress? That’s what everyone says, but is that so? I’ve asked Spirit, because I want to know. Here’s what Spirit informs me:

People have built-in mechanisms that evaluate danger. (We can call them signals and pulls.) These mechanisms help us evaluate situations and feel how to respond. Our responses depend on many things: age, health status, physical impediments, mental breadth, hunger or thirst, breath capacity, emotional attachments, emotional memories, abdominal state, vision, fears, and awakeness. Besides these uniquely personal statuses, we are influenced by our family, neighbors, responsibilities, and desires.

When a situation requires a response, our bodies (intangible and tangible) must process a response that suits our personal statuses and our outer circle. If the outer circle (family, neighbors, etc.) has strong influence, then our response will be geared towards others. If our response is completely our own, then the personal statuses will force us to devise a response to suit our current situation. If we choose a response that doesn’t suit (for example, choosing to hide when we are too exhausted to move), our signals or pulls will usually join to give us the ability to pursue the chosen response.

Here are typical responses to fear and stress: hiding, lowering to the ground, pulling inwards to be physically compact, freezing in place, falling asleep, entering a shock state, denial, emotional displays (crying, sobbing, begging, anger), and confusion. And possibly, fight. And possibly, flight.  Fight and flight are two responses among many so that to speak only of fight or flight is an incorrect characterization of human response.

Each of the responses has a different effect on the body, some effects being more destructive than others. Stress that is handled through freezing in place or denial has differing effects than fight or angry actions. Stress that is denied can be more destructive than stress that is released through tears. Fear that is handled by hiding can be permanently installed in the body, while fear that is handled through entering a shock state can be forgotten. Each response yields a different effect on the body depending on the personal statuses and the forces of the outer circle.

Characterizing the effects of fear and stress as fight or flight is too broad. Each person is an individual response being, and no two people are alike.

Healing the heart from stress

heart on the beach

Scientific studies have proven that stress hurts the heart. Spirit has advice to counter the effects of stress on your heart.

Breathing

  • As much as possible, breathe deeply. The more deeply you breathe, the more open your veins stay.
  • If you’re having trouble breathing through your nose, remain unstressed about this breathing situation. The body is designed to inhale and exhale through the nostrils—sometimes through both simultaneously and sometimes alternatingly. Feeling stress when one nostril seems to be closed is stress misplaced. The body will balance the breathing, unless excessive amounts of mucus are being created because of a cold, allergic reaction, or reaction to medication. In these cases, slowed breathing through the nostrils or mouth will sustain the body.
  • If you are feeling stressed, heart breathing can help: as you inhale, think of the breath coming in and surrounding your heart with care and protection. As you exhale, let the escaping breath leave your body carrying out unwanted thoughts. Heart breathing is strengthening and repairing.

Activities

  • Movement can release stressful forces on the heart. Simple movement, such as wiggling the fingers or gently moving the head in different directions and angles, are minimal movements that lighten stress. Walking in nature or engaging in an enjoyed sport can be more helpful.
  • Listening to music that relaxes lowers stress.
  • Interacting with animals lowers stress and opens the arteries.
  • Smiling relaxes the lungs, which then invigorate the heart. Smiling releases stress.

Involvement in society

  • Showing gratitude to others—on a regular basis—helps  the heart stay strong against stress.
  • Meeting with people who are not stress-inducing—on a regular basis—helps the heart stay resilient against stress.
  • Listening to others and empathizing with them helps the heart be pliable.

The heart and stress

The impact of stress on the heart cannot be studied easily, because of stress’s impact on the other organs and systems in the body. Our bodies are holistic entities that cannot be separated into parts without sacrificing the reality of interconnectedness.

All the tips presented in this blog post have impact throughout the body. They are worthwhile to pursue for well-being and balance. More can be done for well-being and balance, but doing these suggestions is a way to begin.

Note: This information has been spiritually received.

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