Stress- causes mostly cortisol and other adrenal hormones to be released. Cortisol is the fight or fight hormone that provides more energy to the arms to fight and the legs to run. When the fight or flight hormones are released from the adrenal glands, they signal a need for extra energy to provide super hero strength. But, where does the body get extra energy from?
The energy is reconfigured from certain areas and systems of the body and redistributes it, to others, like moving money from your savings to your checking account. If there is no savings, and you need the money, or energy, then it is borrowed from overdraft protection, credit cards or loans. In the case of the body, it is borrowed from body systems whose activities are not paramount during fight or flight circumstances. These would be the digestive system, the immune system and the reproductive system. After all, we’re not thinking about sex, hamburgers and disease prevention, when we’re running from a lion.
However, in our modern day world, many of us are living in a chronic state of stress; we're tired, over worked, anxious, fearful, successful and busier than we can handle; we're trying to maintain what we've got, not lose it, or some are just trying to “get by.” We're managing deadlines, having relationship issues, family business, we're abundant in social activities and even this can stress us out, or we're lonely and exhausted. For many of us, we’re exhausted and it’s hard to exercise after a long day of stress. Thus, our chronic stress causes a slow drip of adrenaline to fuel our day, giving us seemingly extra energy, but not without a price.
Along with stress activated hormones pumping through our blood, some of us still need more. We take some extra loans to super charge ourselves by loading up on sugar and caffeine, which taxes the adrenals further. Many of us do feel the energy of these additions, which is why we do them. Often the up is followed by a down and we need to keep dosing to avoid the crash. By the time dinner time rolls around, the adrenal and energy crash may hit as we slow down and head toward dinner time.
Tiredness is usually a signal that we need food or rest. So, we eat, and hope that our food will give us much needed energy. Often, it doesn’t. It’s too late. It’s too hard to digest and we are still exhausted and there are a few hours before bed and still work to do. So, we push past our tiredness and the adrenals kick out more cortisol to help us through the night. Now, by the time we get to bed, cortisol is still in stimulant mode and we toss and turn and do not rest. This causes more tiredness for the rest of the day and the cycle continues.
Natural energy is our divine right. But, what we have expected of ourselves, what the world seems to expect and what we aberrantly fear, can ask for more of us than is natural. Maybe the answer is to return to nature, to nourish the body, to re-evaluate our lives and priorities. One thing I have noticed is that, taking loans from the adrenals, is like borrowing energy from a loan shark. Eventually, we are supposed to return to normal, to homeostasis, to being a regular human again, but that is a hard cycle to break. Those constant loans end up being called in for repayment, and that repayment ends up being taken from an organ, a system, the adrenals, the kidneys, the pancreas, the heart… That loan shark is no joke. It will ask you to pay and pay you will with your organs and your life, unless you stop the using, change the life, get through the withdrawals of the addiction to being a super hero and get back to your natural rhythms with respect to the limits of the body.
If our digestion is chronically shut down for repairs, even if we are eating the highest quality foods ever, we cannot break them down into absorbable particles. This may lead the system to take in the food and shoot them out the other. So, what materials are building, replacing and replenishing our cells if our high quality materials end up in the toilet? Where are we getting our nutrition from? Maybe we aren’t. I think we may be the most over fed and undernourished nation in the world.
Where will we get our energy from to get through the next day? Um, the loan shark? We saw what that does, but like any drug addiction, it is so painful to stop, so we keep using. Breaking the cycle is not an easy task, I’m not saying it is, but it was the attempt to get fast, easy energy in the first place that brought us here. We must learn to live our lives based on our true means. That is true both energetically as well as financially. Or the interest will become overwhelmingly hard to imagine repaying.
The answer is the same for both. Restore the life to a manageable amount of requirements, reduce the psychological fear that exaggerates the real issue, and little by little, begin to pay it off while sustaining the new life. It begins by stopping the debting, stopping the energy bleeding, stopping taking out loans. It begins by slowing down, quieting the fears and doing one thing at a time, that is all we can do. We can eat whole, organic, sustainable, healthy foods and eat them with calm so that we can digest them. We can chew our food to a paste and truly assist the body to break it down to the smallest bits possible before we release it to the digestive system to do the rest. We can go to bed before our second wind and calendar in our exercise, socialization and play. We may need to change jobs, get a different education, work at something that pays less but provides more time… We can do one task at at time, one call at at time, one paper at a time, one email at a time and the energy we give each of those tasks is up to us. It can be with calm focus or with fearful anxiety that calls upon adrenaline. These answers are personal to each person’s life.
Where we are sitting, standing or laying down right now, if we tune into this exact moment, we are fine. We are safe. We have the opportunity to be at peace. Even if there is a deadline, even if you will be late on an assignment, pumping adrenaline does not make it go faster. It may even cause more mistakes. Haste makes waste is not a silly statement. We must learn to trust the energy of the universe and belief that we are enough, we do enough, and we are safe. If the world we live in reflects otherwise, we must watch our agreement and our defensiveness to it. We must not try to prove it right or wrong by being and doing more than we are or more than we can. That is an inside job. Yes, life is not easy for any of us, but many of us make it harder than it is by our beliefs. We can challenge those beliefs and reset our attitudes to one of peace and acceptance.
The faster we accept, the faster we have peace. Peace is not synonymous with no pain or difficulty, it is synonymous with acceptance of pain and difficulty. It is our attempt to rid it, to resist it to fight it that causes most of our suffering. But self acceptance lets the world do and think what it wants to, while we decide for ourselves what we do, how we do it and who we are.
Of the many things we cannot control, we can choose what we believe, once we uncover what we have automatically believed. In this way, much of our debt is paid, because much of our debt, was not ours to begin with. One step at a time in a healthy direction leads to a much healthier destination.