Saturday, June 19, 2010

Curious about Stress: Most of Us Are Dealing with Stress. How Do We Handle It? and How It Is Affecting Us?

Definition of Stress: Distress. Pressure, strain. To press; to urge; to distress; to put to difficulties. To subject to stress, pressure, or strain.

Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down.” - Natalie Goldberg, American author

It's not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” - Hans Selye, Canadian scientist

If you are wondering why I would choose stress for this week’s blog, it results from listening to a fascinating book called Ultra Metabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman. Besides sharing his seven myths of losing weight, he shares that “stress makes you fat, relaxing makes you thin.” How can that be?

And, yes I am guilty of telling my students that the recipe for losing weight is, “Eat less and exercise more.” Hyman shows how wrong I have been. The whole book – 11 CDs – is long and filled with great stories and “why” facts. However, the part that fascinated me the most was Key #2 which follows.

"Key #2: Subdue Stress. The second key is to understand how stress makes you fat and how to overcome its effects. Under any physical or psychological stress, the body is designed to protect itself. It stores calories and conserves weight (you might need that energy reserve to run from a predator). It pumps hormones into your system that increase blood fats, sugar and insulin to prepare you for fight or flight. Without eating more or exercising less, stress alone will cause weight gain."

Thank goodness I have been teaching Yoga classes for more than two years. Perfect way to reduce stress and relax.

I also found a plethora of great “stress” quotations. Here goes:
  • In times of life crisis, whether wild fires or smoldering stress, the first thing I do is go back to basics... am I eating right, am I getting enough sleep, am I getting some physical and mental exercise everyday.” - Edward Albert, American actor
  • It seems that we have it backward in our society. We tend to look up to people who are under a great deal of stress, who can handle loads of stress, and those who are under a great deal of pressure.” - Richard Carlson, American author
  • The key to winning is poise under stress.” - Paul Brown, American coach
  • I've chosen to treat my life more like a party than something to stress about.” - Martin Short, American actor
  • If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it.” - George Burns, American comedian
  • Well, I think probably the main reason people overeat is stress.” - Jenny Craig, Australian celebrity
  • What basically happens is your hormones get out of whack. Because of the stress in your life your body says, 'I need more hormones.' So, your hormones are trying to produce and produce and produce, and it's even more stressful and it is this wicked cycle.” - Marie Osmond, American musician

And three more to chew upon:

  • The components of anxiety, stress, fear, and anger do not exist independently of you in the world. They simply do not exist in the physical world, even though we talk about them as if they do.” - Wayne Dyer, American psychologist
  • The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence.” - Norman Vincent Peale, American clergyman
  • Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian actor

So, what do you think? About stress, losing weight, and the stress of losing weight? I would love to hear from you.