You must stop runaway stress hormones before they kill you.
We have all seen dramatic movies where the tension mounts as we watch a runaway stagecoach with the heroine trapped inside. How will it ever be stopped in time? What about the runaway train bounding toward the bridge that is out; or a bomb that must be disarmed before the time runs out; or the asteroid on a collision course towards Earth? How will they be stopped in time?
Chronic stress causes a runaway flow of stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) that cascade through your body. Medical research has documented the connection between stress and serious chronic illnesses.
A growing number of studies confirm that chronic stress plays a major role in the progression of heart disease and cancer, the number 1 and number 2 biggest killers in our nation. How can this flow of stress hormones be stopped in time?
The Body Believes What You Tell It
The solution seems simple enough. Find the cause of this steady release of stress hormones and shut it off.
The cause is chronic stress. The direct cause is your subconscious mind. When your subconscious mind receives a signal that you are in danger, it causes stress hormones to be secreted into your body to prepare your body to be able to protect itself.
Your subconscious gets the signal from your conscious mind. For example, you see what you believe to be a snake and the subconscious hears your mind yell, “SNAKE!” Your subconscious then causes the release of stress hormones.
The secret in shutting off the flow of chronic stress hormones is that your body responds to what you tell it, not to what actually exists. Suppose this “snake” was actually a harmless stick being moved by the breeze, you have told your subconscious it was a dangerous snake.
The example of the snake teaches an important lesson. It is not the stressor (the actual event) but rather your reaction to it (distress) that causes the flow of stress hormones. Your subconscious mind will respond to what you tell it.
A Way to Turn off Stress Hormones Is to Turn off Negative Self-talk
Your subconscious mind responds to your mood. It causes the body to secrete hormones according to your mood. If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, anger, and frustration then your body will secrete stress hormones.
If your mood is predominately negative, it is because your self-talk is negative. Self-talk is the dialogue that goes on inside your head all of the time. It is that inner voice that determines how you perceive every situation.
The Mayo Clinic gives this advice in handling chronic stress:
“Practice positive self-talk. It’s easy to lose objectivity when you’re stressed. One negative thought can lead to another, and soon you’ve created a mental avalanche. Be positive. Instead of thinking, “I am horrible with money and will never be able to control my finances,” try this: “I made a mistake with my money, but I am resilient. I’ll get through it.”
Right now, your inner voice might be saying: “easy enough for you to tell me to practice positive self-talk. You don’t know what I have been through.” Then your inner chatter begins to repeat what you have been through. In your thoughts you dwell on this past experience. The downward spiral continues and you become more depressed, more anxious, more frustrated, etc.
FIRST… determine right now to replace negative self-talk with an optimistic voice in your head that always looks on the bright side. This is the attitude depicted in the show, Annie. “The sun will come out tomorrow…”
SECOND… become aware of your inner dialogue. Ideas pop into your mind all of the time – some good, some bad; some positive, some negative. Do not dwell on any negative thought or any thought that puts you down. Do not dwell on any thought that is self-critical.
Remember, you do not have to react to the thoughts your mind presents to you. Recognize that negative self-talk is self-defeating and self-limiting. Negative self-talk causes you pain, stress, and dis-ease!
The quality of your self-talk determines the quality of your life. What you say in your mind determines how you feel and who you are.
Use these 4 words to change self-talk from negative to optimistic
One successful way to change a habit of negative self talk is to use these four words: But, However, Yet, and Nevertheless.
These four words can change your life. Big doors move on small hinges. These four words may seem small and insignificant – but they are powerful.
How does it work?
- First, become keenly aware of your thought life. Sadly, for most people their inner chatter is mostly negative. It is filled with the stuff that makes you feel lousy or inferior.
- Second, follow this rule: take every negative self-talk thought and add one of these four words onto it; then finish the thought with an optimistic voice that looks on the bright side. Look again at the example given by the Mayo Clinic. Do you notice the small hinge “but?” “But I am resilient.” That last phrase tells the subconscious: “no need to worry; I’ve got it under control; I’m not in danger.”
These four words will work in every situation – big or small. The three most significant stressors are: (1) unwanted aloneness, (2) loss of control, and (3) loss of hope.
Unwanted aloneness, the loss of a mate or the loss of a child, can be unbearable. What can possibly be said that is positive? Often times, a well-meaning friend tries to present a positive spin and only makes matters worse.
Let’s take the pain and stress of divorce. Not only do you have to deal with a feeling of aloneness, but also the feeling of rejection. I recommend the use of the word “nevertheless” in situations like this. “Nevertheless,” acknowledges the truth of the first part of the comment while connecting you with an optimistic expectation for the future. “He/she left me; nevertheless, I can handle this.” “He/she left me; nevertheless, I’m going to make sure I exercise every day while I figure out what to do next.”
- Medical research has confirmed the connection between chronic stress and cancer, heart disease, suppression of the immune system, dementia, diabetes, and many other chronic diseases.
- You can turn off the flow of stress hormones by changing your thought life from negative to optimistic.
- Use these 4 words to change self-talk: But, Yet, However, Nevertheless.
I recommend you read Deadly Emotions by Don Colbert, M.D. (click here to read reviews).
I recommend you read a short excerpt of Earl Nightingale’s Strangest Secret. (click here).