Stress is a non-specific response or adaptation by the body to what it perceives as not safe. Non-specific means that the response is always the same, sympathetic nervous dominance causing: increased heart rate and blood pressure, increased blood levels of the hormones cortisol and adrenaline to increase energy and strength in the muscles, increased blood sugar; decreased function in: digestion, the immune system, higher brain function affecting memory and decision making ability and the reproductive system.
The stressors which cause a stress response can be physical, emotional, and or toxins from diet and the environment. All negative thoughts such as fear ,anger, resentment, bitterness un-forgiveness, jealousy, envy, worry and anxiety can cause a stress response. Ideally, the body’s stress adaptation is short lived, followed by a quick recovery to a state of peace and calm, parasympathetic tone. When there is little or no recovery, stress becomes chronic. This can lead to inflammatory damage to the: digestive tract contributing to ulcers and bowel problems, the nervous system causing memory loss and learning difficulties, cardiovascular system, endocrine system (hormones) causing thyroid problems and weight gain, and the immune system contributing to allergies, cancer, and autoimmune diseases, which means the immune system is attacking the body. There is research to show all chronic disease is autoimmune in nature and stress is a factor in all chronic disease. It might be wise to consider how many times we do not get enough sleep, we expose ourselves to unhealthy diets and environmental toxins, and have negative thoughts In dental examinations I see signs of chronic stress such as: wear patterns on the teeth, scalloping marks on the tongue, and white lines on the inside of the cheek.
There ways to help recover and return to the peaceful, calm parasympathetic state so the body can rebuild and repair in preparation for the next stressful event.
- Breath: slow, deep, nasal, and diaphragmatic breathing.
- Diet: eating whole, nutrient dense organic foods; and drinking clean water. (treated by distilling or reverse osmosis is best)
- Mental relaxation: finding peace and joy in the present moment while being unaware of past or future events. Focusing on breathing is a good way to start mental relaxation.
4. Allow time for 7-8 hours sleep.