Any illness as most doctors will say has its inherent cause boiling down to one major cause – Stress. In today’s fast paced world in the anxiety to do everything and more we are constantly battling this enemy. Though not all stress is bad, sometimes being anxious or nervous helps but when it takes over more than just those tummy butterflies, or the horse power of your brain it creates more tension than your heart can handle. And by heart I do not mean the literary or poetic vision of it but the basic science of it all; the pumping of your heart. The basic blood flow that is supposed to be distributed all over your body, which helps in sending all the signals to continue the smooth running of all the organs. When the heart is over-burdened for a continuous period of time it creates imbalances that alter the algorithm of the body functioning. Different chemicals are produced, reacting in an uncommon way.
What causes this stress is a hormone called Cortisol, which has receptors in almost every cell of your body, triggering of reactions, responses that vary from giving you a kick on your butt to move when you are being chased down the road by your girlfriend’s father to… having a panic attack. A simple act of waking up each morning requires this stress hormone as it activates the cells to do their routine work. However, when you have knee jerk reaction to events, situations, circumstances over a long period of time cortisol is produced constantly or in high levels, you automatically elevate the level of glucose rushing through your blood stream. Cortisol can actually be termed as a main culprit for Type 2 Diabetes, most weight gain and obesity problems and cardiovascular problems.
Stress can stop insulin from being produced so as to induce a state of increased glucose levels. It also narrows arteries so as to make the heart pump more oxygenated blood, thereby increasing heart rate. Many a times, there is a cortisol coop, wherein stress takes over your entire body’s workforce. This malfunctioning is actually a catalyst to many of the medical problems we face today. Right from stomach disorders, migraines, insomnia to even more deadly diseases like cancer, the first advice that the doctors will give is to reduce stress levels. However, people do not understand the scientific influence that stress has on the functioning of our bodies and treat it as a psychological problem to be addressed separately.
Stress is a by-product of our daily living. Developing a methodology to relax according to individual needs is a must if we want to remain healthy. Various techniques have been designed to keep our life stress free such as meditation, breathing techniques such as pranayam, yoga, music therapy, color therapy etc. It is essential that we avail of these on a daily basis as a wellness programing of our life. Just as your body requires nourishment in the form of nutri-dense foods and exercise, it also requires sleep and relaxation to work optimally.
There are people who supposedly work better under pressure. To them I would say, use the stress to construct not destruct. Use it wisely, in small doses to up your metabolism, to get you alert, to make you focused. Be the master and not the slave.
Also read the Times of India article : click here