Most of us encounter stressful situations daily and we all know how this makes us think and feel, but what are the biological implications? What is stress from a biological point of view?
“Living in stress is like living in survival mode – they’re one and the same thing. A stressful situation is one in which the organism loses its normal homeostatic balance.” – Joe Dispenza
So what does this survival mode means? It means that our body gets ready for threatening situations. High quantities of adrenaline are released, higher quantities of blood are directed to our hands and feet (muscles) and our senses are orientated towards that “threatening” element. Because of this, our internal organs receive fewer resources. For example, our digestive system slows down because it’s not that important compared to the “imminent threat”. In short, our body gets ready to fight or flee.
The same Joe Dispenza states the following:
“A stressful factor is any aspect that disturbs the normal chemical balance of the body, and the reaction to that stress is whatever the organism is doing to reestablish the normal homeostatic balance.”
Based on this, the more we are “possessed” by stress, the more our body gets used to that biological reaction and that slowly becomes our normal homeostatic state. When the survival mode is our normal homeostatic state, every time we try to relax and concentrate on the positive and good things, our body would get off that survival mode and it would be losing the “normal homeostatic balance” and the good stuff would be perceived as threatening which would be more stressful.
Anxiety, depression and PTSD are the new “normal” states with which our body is used to and that’s why it’s so hard to overcome them. Our body sends signals to our brain that it needs the “daily dose” of those substances and our brain will unconsciously search for reasons to provide them. That’s where some negative automatic thoughts come from.
Solutions? Well, one of them is constant monitoring our thoughts, detecting the ones with potential negative charge and replacing them with neutral or positive ones.
Of course it’s easier to be said than done, but if we want a change, we need to start somewhere, right?