Stress Is Not Just A Feeling. It’s A Biochemical Response.

“It’s just stress.”

Great_Fire_LondonI want to take a moment to clarify something.

The body’s biochemistry doesn’t know the difference between the stress and frustration of a printer jam that you can’t fix and the stress and frustration of your house burning down.  It rolls out the same chemical response to both situations.  Cortisol.  Epinephrine.  Norepinephrine.  And all the dozens of effects those are made to exert in the body.

The body doesn’t know the difference.  It just doesn’t.  For all it knows, it could be gearing up for a huge, bloody battle or a long, strenuous trek across the continent.  The body knows that these situations may not allow you to eat for quite a while.  It will shut down fat-burning pathways.  Any hopes you had about losing weight in the midst of chaos are thrown out the window.

Only your thinking brain knows the difference.  The only hope you have of controlling the body’s biochemical stress response which can wreak havoc on the heart, blood vessels, waist line, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, or ability to fight off colds is the ability to you have to quell your mind and its reaction to external forces.  Or to remove impeding obstacles.

So in our day-to-day lives, if we allow the little things to bother us and tax us, the body responds the exact same way.  Screaming baby while you’re trying to cook supper.  Late for work and hitting every red light.  Laundry piling up higher and higher along with the bills.  Preacher went over his time limit at church.  Too many meetings and get-togethers every night of the week.  You just get puffier, fatter, and more drained at every stressful encounter.

Do what it takes to either change your situation or change your mind in response to the situation.  It’s not just stress.  It’s health. 

Do what it takes.  Your body will thank you because it was tired of fighting off alien invaders to save your family.  Your family will thank you too.  They miss the real you.


Image:  Great Fire London 1666 from Wikimedia Commons.  Link:

9 thoughts on “Stress Is Not Just A Feeling. It’s A Biochemical Response.

  1. The Vanilla Housewife

    After I gave birth to my little girl, my hair fall has gone from worst to doomed (and I also experienced some sort of alopecia which I treated with Vit E and thankfully went away) and my grey hairs are multiplying like rabbits. Blaming it all on stress! Ugh.

  2. Laurie

    Well what do you know? I never realised it’s a one boot fits all. Evolution got that seriously wrong!
    However, knowing this must help in assessing the nature of the problem, which should, in turn, slow the reaction that for me, so far, has been to flip far too aggressively no matter how incidental the problem.
    Fingers crossed.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Thinking about stress this way helps us to see the importance of a different response. It is not simply psychological in nature. It truly, truly, truly is wreaking havoc on physically on blood vessels, hearts, lipid readings, and sugars. Whether it’s the constant borage of texts and phone calls or car breaking down, if we allow this to aggravate us or “stress” us out, it will produce a stress response biochemically. Years and years of this=problems.

      Now the dilemma, how to change our patterns! Good luck! ~Terri

  3. Pingback: More on my Labs… | Boomering

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