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  • Writer's picturedrschwank


While writing this podcast, I’m taking out me-time for myself. I’m getting a foot massage, as massage is my way of meditation. It’s crucial for our mental and physical well-being to have these moments of complete relaxation. Time to let the nervous system completely wind down and just be on relaxation mode.

To purposely switch from action or in times of stress on fight, flight, freeze mode, to compete relaxe mode. The fight, flight, freeze mode of our nervous system, is a state of hyper arousal, where the amygdala is on heightened activity mode.

During times, our amygdala is hyper active, our executive functions are reduced, we act and react impulsively, emotionally, and lack executive control. A chronic stage of hyper arousal - meaning the amygdala being on hyper active mode, also know as the fight, fight, freeze mode - is a serious problem for our physical and mental health.

Research has shown that chronic stress, hyper arousal of our amygdala, has negativ impact on our health. Increases risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, overweight, mental health disorders, cancer, IBD, an in increase in inflammatory markers in the body, since stress causes an inflammatory response in the body.

When stressed, especially chronically, we tend to have unhealthy habits, coping strategies, even destructive, self harming ones, and great difficulties in setting and sensing our boundaries. Difficulties to say no, in order to protect ourselves from exhaustion.

In times of stress:

-We can’t think rationally and clearly.

-We act and react impulsively and emotionally.

-We have a hard time saying no.

-We can’t set boundaries to protect ourselves.

-We don’t feel our physical or mental limits.

—-> All these stress related aspects cause an even higher levels of stress and escalate the viscid cycle of the overall global stress burden.

—-> Outcomes vary, but in severe cases chronic stress and a longterm state of hyper arousal lead to mental or physical collapse, burnout, severe mental breakdowns, neurological or cardiovascular emergencies.

What can we do, if we have such chronic stress?

  1. One of the best ways to reduce stress is exercise! Any form and any amount, simply taking time out for oneself, me-time, time to exercise.

  2. Routines rock! Changing a habits is immensely difficult! Even if we conscientiously know, that the habits absolutely don’t serve us. We still stick to status quo. It’s the place of least resistance, it’s familiar, cognitively easy, and causes the least cognitive dissonance. A state of imbalance and introspection. Routines help us a loooooong way to get out of these unhealthy habits. They also reduce the amount of cognitive dissonance: of balancing pos and cons with each option. They just make us do the thing we set out for. The more we strickt to our routines, the easier it becomes to make them our own and create new habits, your “new normal”.

  3. Seek help, changing years old habits won’t happen over night and often needs a radical change in scenery, environment, and in many cases best expert and professional support of people experienced in working with habitual changes.

  4. Change it before it’s too late and your house (your body and mind) already in flames.

  5. Seeking professional help is brilliant. Unfortunately, it’s often still stigmatised. There’s urgent need for a paradigm shift. Seeking support is a sign of strength rather than weakness. It shows an ability for introspection and self-reflection, rather then denial.

  6. Visit a retreats to set back the system and let body, mind, and soul reconnect. Ayurveda, TCM, and other forms of change in scenery, to reassess and establish new healthy routines and habits.

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