What is Fight or Flight?
Are you constantly in a state of fight or flight? Do you ever feel like there is not enough time in the day? That you are being chased or in quicksand? We are in a land of information and technology overload. “On average, Americans are subject to some 3,000 essentially random pitches per day. Two-thirds of people surveyed in a Yankelovich Partners study said they feel “constantly bombarded” by ads, and 59% said the ads they see have little or no relevance to them.”
We are caught up in a culture that When technology and information are not managed, can increase our stress scale astronomically. Which leads us to living in a state of constant fight or flight. We live in a world that is extremely masculine. We value quick answers, saving time, productivity, and efficiency. We are a masculine culture that rewards working hard, pushing limits, and being constantly busy. These values have led many Americans to feeling like they are constantly under pressure or being chased.
Will the Stress Ever End?
The fight or flight response, also called the fright, fight, or flight response, hyperarousal or the acute stress response, was first described by Walter Cannon in 1915. The fight or flight response is a state that animals are in when they react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, priming the animal for fighting or fleeing.
For humans, back in the caveman days fight or flight was a survival tool to help humans flee from danger. During this reaction hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol are released, speeding the heart rate, slowing digestion, hindering blood flow, allowing the body a burst of energy. In modern day time, fight or flight is activated daily, through stressful situations; such as sitting in traffic, going to a job you don't like, working long hours with no break, forgetting to eat and then rushing to get fast food, there are many other triggers.
What is Chronic Stress?
Over time, chronic stress being in a state of flight or fight mode, which means that adrenaline is constantly being released into our bodies. This has led to adrenaline overload. We are using adrenaline as our main source of fuel and it is for many of us an addiction. This is a vicious cycle, where we are passing this chronic stress lifestyle onto our children, which is creating childhood stress.
When our bodies have too much adrenaline in our systems, it leads to adrenal failure or overload. So how does one manage staying out of this hyper vigilant state? Learning how to protect your adrenals and reducing your reliance on adrenaline, caffeine,and sugar is one of the first steps.
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- Get your adrenals tested. Go see a natural health care practitioner and have them test your adrenals.
- Slowly start weaning yourself off or sugar, processed foods, caffeine, junk food and carbs.
- Do a liver cleanse to remove toxins from your system and jump start your metabolism.
- Get outside and take a brisk walk without any distractions, slow your mind down, leave the headphones and music at home.
- Breathe! Deep breathing is a wonderful stress reducer. Bring your attention to breathing deeply and within your belly.
- Schedule plenty of time around your meetings, so you have some down time throughout your day to play a little and laugh.
- Laugh more. Do something goofy everyday, or watch something funny.
- Learn to say no. Prioritize what is important to you and don't be a slave to your phone/schedule. Check your voicemail and e-mail twice a day.
Remember life is too short. If you burn out your adrenals today, you could potentially develop chronic fatigue or a chronic health issue for the rest of your life. Take time to find out what your stress scale and tolerance are. Foster more down time around you, do something that is creative, schedule a day where you have no engagements (you can do anything you want for the day with no time constraints). Laugh, the amount of laughing you do in a day effects your health. Stress and laughter are connected. Make sure to laugh and smile every day.
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