Incredibly Creative Stress Kit part 2: Bodymind/ Duplicate

In case you missed part 1, the Stress Test, click here for  a link

You have a BODYMIND

Ever wonder what your neck was for?

Bodymind? You’re probably thinking, “a typo.” Research has proven that your body and your mind are connected by your neck and are inseparable. The body talks to the mind, the mind talks to the body, the body talks to the body and the mind talks to the mind. You’re just one big, interconnected bodymind.

Now, let’s take a quick look at stress so you will know what’s happening in your own bodymind.

WHAT’S HAPPEN’N?

The stress response is simply “Fight or Flight”. Its purpose is keeping you safe, out of harms way. The problem in today’s world is our brains don’t actually know what is dangerous: See a picture of fighting on TV and your brain gets the message you are in danger; Your brain thinks that the 11 ton cars traveling down the freeway are like rhinos charging. More danger.

Your brain desperately wants you to survive and any cue it perceives as possible danger – sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, thoughts & mental images – tells your bodymind to fight or flee from what is going to harm you. In some cases the freeze response is momentarily activated so that every part of your being is on alert giving time to decide whether to fight or flee.

When the stress response is activated blood is directed away from your intestines, stomach, brain – whatever organ isn’t needed to run or fight:

Ever get light headed? -it’s not time to think, just act: diarrhea?-let’s lighten the load; butterflies/queasy?-not the time to digest food. When you feel “shaky” it’s your blood being directed to arms and legs so there’s energy in that one-two punch and speed in your step. Lots of other things happen too, but you get the idea.

Here’s what you’ve been waiting for!

Stress Reducing Exercises & Activities

Try the exercise & activities from each of these four different approaches to find what works best for you.

1. DUPLICATE FIGHTING & FLEEING

2.ELIMINATE STRESS CUES

3. CONCENTRATE ON CALM CUES

4. FABRICATE YOUR EXPERIENCE

First a word of safety

(We don’t want to have your brain perceive danger).

All the physical activities must be done only to your individual capability. If you have any medical/physical issues see your doctor/health care practitioner first before you try any of the physical exercises.

1. DUPLICATE FIGHTING & FLEEING

Trying to calm down usually only increases the stress response. Your bodymind is telling you to moooove!

Conventional advice is to “relax” when you’re stressed. I don’t need to tell you…but I will anyway: It’s near impossible to “calm down” the fight or flight response once your adrenalin is pumping. So let’s creatively use what our bodymind is doing and GO ALONG WITH THE PROGRAM-let’s duplicate what the fight or flight stress response is preparing us to do.

Once the stress response is triggered the neurochemistry is already in your cells telling your body to run or fight before you are consciously aware of the stress response. It takes, on the average 20 to 30 minutes for the neurochemicals to metabolize out of the cells.

Do physical activity for 20-30 minutes, the stress response will pass.

MOVING EXPERIENCES:

Walk to the store

Do jumping jacks

Climb stairs

March to music

Take a hike Clean a closet

Samba, rumba & mambo

Jump rope
Play soccer
Scrub the floor Build a shed
Kick box

Wash windows

Walk the dog

Ride a horse

Mow the lawn

Paint the ceiling

Rock climb

just MOVE.

When you don’t have the space, time or availability to do a “Moving Experience” physical focus is a way of directing some of that adrenalin into a positive place. Next are two quick and easy physical focus exercises that you can even do in public.

 STRETCHING THE POINT

  • Stretch your arms out in front of you, palms down, strrrrrretch forward.
  • Raise your arms high over your head.
  • Stretch them, try to touch the ceiling.
  • Pull your arms toward the back of your head and holdfor a moment.
  • Let your arms drop back to your sides.
  •  WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS

  • Pretend you have a whole lemon in your left hand
  • Squeeze it hard. Try to squeeze all the juice out.
  • Feel the tightness in your hand and arm as you squeeze.
  • Now drop the lemon (you can clean it up later)
  • Notice how your muscles feel when they are relaxed
  • Take another lemon I your left hand. Try to squeeze this one harder than the first lemon.
  • Drop the second lemon and relax.
  • Repeat this sequence using your right hand.

MOVING MANTRA

Adding thought to movement and your brain helps potentiate the activity.

NOW LET’S CONCENTRATE ON YOUR THOUGHTS. Remember, thinking is a cue to your brain.

First, what is a mantra? In this case it’s a positive statement you repeat over and over in your mind. We like to combine mantras with movement. So when we walk or exercise we’ll silently repeat a positive statement in rhythm to the pace.

Here are some to choose from. You can mix n” match. They don’t have to rhyme; it’s just incredibly more fun.

• 3-STEP Mantra: “I am safe”
• WALK AROUND THE BLOCK Mantra: “I feel good in the neighborhood”

• BREEZY DAYS Mantra: “Feel the balm, I am calm”

• IT’S FATE Mantra: “I feel good, I feel great, calm and tranquil is my fate!”

Better yet, create your own and e-mail us. We will share them with others.

BEWARE-Fight or Flight May Be in Our Bones

Halloween ghosts and goblins may be our early warning that THE holiday season is here, raising our stress levels in preparation for gift shopping, cooking, cleaning, relatives, financial pressure . . .

The flight or fight response, our body’s way to prepare us to combat danger and keep us alive:

  • You breathe faster
  • Your heart rate increases
  • Your blood pressure increases
  • Your pupils dilate
  • The blood supply to your skin decreases
  • Your immune system shuts down

Just in time for Halloween . . .  scientists have identified a new hormone that is part of the stress response. It’s a protein called osteocalcin secreted by bone and is involved in triggering the body’s reaction to stress

“Gerard Karsenty, a physician and geneticist at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, set out to investigate calcification a hardening of bone. In his study of this he eliminated osteocalcin from mice. While that did not change calcification as he had thought, the affected mice did not breed well and had excess fat.”

“Osteocalcin was in the blood of the mice, so Karsenty decided to see if it was a hormone. It was, and was involved in metabolism, fertility and muscle function, and maybe in brain development and thinking. He and others working on osteocalcin wondered why bone would produce a hormone. They thought perhaps bones evolved to help animals escape danger . . . . If so, bones may be part of the fight or flight response.”

 

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Researchers . . .”found that mice without osteocalcin had a much lower fight or fight response, including less of an increase in heart rate, less increase in blood glucose, and less of a rise in temperature-all part of the physiological fight or flight response. This confirmed that osteocalcin played a role in the response.

“As they continued to learn about osterocalcins role, they thought  that what it was doing was activating the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system This part of the  autonomic nervous system is what triggers the fight or flight response. But injecting the hormone into the blood stream did not activate the sympathetic nerve, which was a surprise.”

“What was happening was the parasympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system, which triggers the “opposite” rest and digest response (which come into play when there is no threat), was affected-and it was suppressed.”  

So what osteocalcin does is turns off the parasympathetic autonomic nervous system (ANS) –and allowing the sympathetic ANS to take over and start the flight or fight response.”

 

“The notion that the parasympathetic nervous system is mediating the effects of osteocalcin on stress is a very interesting finding,” says James Herman, a neuroscientist at the University of Cincinnati, “I think what that means is that the way we currently understand stress is too simplistic.” He says that other chemical messengers may also play a role.”

“Karsenty’s team has also learned that stimulating part of the amygdala increases osteocalcin in the blood.”

Not all scientists are convinced of this work, and it will need to be replicated by others to be sure.  Maybe we’ll know more by next Halloween.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fight-or-flight-may-be-in-our-bones/