Reducing stress in a warp speed world

Friday, February 17, 2012 by: Sherry L. Ackerman, Ph.D.
Tags: stress reduction, solutions, nervous system

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) As the wheels continue to come of the wagon known as the old paradigm, humans are increasingly exhibiting accelerated stress behaviors. This isn't good, as research indicates that stress is a leading factor in precipitating illness.

Stress is not ipso facto a bad thing. A certain amount of stress is natural. None of us live stress free lives. However, while a certain amount of stress is normal, chronic negative stress is harmful to our health.

When an individual is faced with stress, his body mobilizes for action in what is called a fight or flight reaction. During a fight or flight reaction, the heart rate increases, breathing is accelerated, and the muscles tense up.

When an individual identifies a threat, or experiences strong negative emotions such as anger and/or rage, activity in the sympathetic nervous system rises and the adrenal glands release the hormones epinephrine (or adrenaline) and norepinephrine into the blood stream. At the same time, corticosteriod hormones which release fatty acids for energy, are released by the adrenal glands. This nervous system and hormonal activity causes digestion to stop, blood sugar levels to increase, and the heart to pump more blood to the muscles.

The fight or flight response, or sympathetic nervous system reaction, was an evolutionary adaptation that was immensely useful for fighting off tigers and/or marauding enemies. It was designed to turn on quickly and then shut back off within moments of dealing with the immediate crisis at hand.

However, in contemporary society, the sympathetic nervous system is under constant bombardment and, thus, stimulation. Living in the fast lane, 24/7 communications, environmental insults and societal background noise all contribute to over-activity of the fight or flight response. This is not what the sympathetic nervous system was ever designed to do.

Since, in today's world, the stress persists after the initial fight or flight reaction, the body's reaction enters a second stage. During this stage, the activity of the sympathetic nervous system declines and epinephrine secretion is lessened, but corticosteriod secretion continues at above normal levels. Finally, as stress continues and the body is unable to cope, there is likely to be breakdown of bodily resources. During this stage there may be a reduction of the levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine in the brain, a state related to depression and illness.

Chronic stress has been associated with increased reports of illness. And, of course, the longer the stress is endured, the more likely a person is to become seriously ill.

The body, though, has an incredible system of checks and balances. And, if we allow it, the body will seek equilibrium. In this case, the balancing function comes via the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic system is responsible for the rest-and-digest activities that occur when the body is at rest. Additionally, the parasympathetic nervous system increases resistance to infection, promotes ease of body fluid circulation, and produces the endorphins known as the "feel good" hormones.

The parasympathetic system is concerned with nourishing, healing and regeneration of the body. The parasympathetic nervous system, when activated by rest, relaxation and happy thoughts, is essential for balanced living and for all healing.

One of the keys for promoting balance and healing is to keep the sympathetic system turned off as much as possible. This allows the maximum healing, via the parasympathetic system, to occur.

Here are some suggestions for fettering an overly-active sympathetic nervous system and allowing the parasympathetic to operate:

Breath-work: try mindfully slowing the breath. Breathe fully, all the way down into the tummy area. Allow the tummy area to rise and fall with the breath. Notice how different this is than when you only breath shallowly into the upper chest.

Meditation: get involved in a meditation practice. There are many types of meditation practices. Find one that suits your personality and belief system and practice the techniques regularly.

Yoga: get involved in a hatha yoga practice. There are many yogic systems. Find one that suits your body type and practice the asanas regularly.

Affirmations and Visualization: use positive affirmations and visualizations to over-right old, habituated negative thoughts. Affirm and visualize loving, serene and pleasant thoughts and images. Notice how your body relaxes when you do this.

Music: play soft, soothing music throughout your day. Ambient music supports an open, positive outlook and encourages well-being.

Avoid Stimulants: eliminate caffeine and sugary sweets from your diet. Also, side-step emotional stimulants such as "drama", excessive exercise and exhaustion.

Massage: any gentle style of massage is especially good for reprogramming the parasympathetic nervous system. This is a situation where "less is best" -- less pressure and intensity.

Lip Work: gently making little circular motions with the fingertips on your upper lip is beneficial for relaxing the central nervous system. People hold a lot of tension in the jaw and upper lip and gently manipulating these areas can help break the holding pattern.

Posture: get some work with a structural reintegration practitioner. You will be surprised at how much difference it makes when you learn to achieve a poised, relaxed standing and sitting posture. We hold many "defenses" in postural anomalies and releasing these patterns can be quite liberating.

Slow Down: consciously slow everything that you do down. This, of course, is opposed to current societal expectations where everyone, and everything, is moving at the speed of light. Never mind -- just slow down!

As you begin to pay attention to enhancing parasympathetic function, you will notice a number of improvements in your physical, emotional and psychological well-being. You should experience more coherent energy and focus; a greater sense of mental clarity and a generally more optimistic outlook.

About the author:
Sherry L. Ackerman, Ph.D., is a socially engaged philosopher and cultural sustainability advocate. Her new book, The Good Life: How to Create a Sustainable and Fulfilling Lifestyle explores critical issues from this perspective. At the end of each chapter is a list of things that you can do to create a more sustainable, healthier lifestyle. For more information:

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.