If you did not worry, your food would not be digested! Worry is thinking. Over thinking is worry on steroids and all that does is cause confusion in the long run! The nature of worry is to examine things, to turn them over and look at them from all sides to see if you really have gotten the message. Your stomach is a churn. It is filled, with food – sometimes overfilled! This food has mixed with saliva with the action of chewing. The chewing is vital, as it makes the stomachs job easier...for if we did not chew our food, then the stomach would have to produce more worry to break down the big lumps! What the worry energy does is that it allows us to analyse things by turning them over, examining them and then assessing the value of nourishment in there.
Okay to keep on track here – we have chewed our food, mixed it with saliva and it has taken the slippery slope to the churn. The churning action adds to this saliva/food mix a variety of juices, among them acid! This is necessary to help breakdown the food and to sort out the good from what is waste, or not safe or nourishing for us.
Now as an aside, did you know that the lining of your stomach is replaced every 3-4 days? So why do those who have ulcers not heal from them? It is because of the worry/anxiety – over worry - which will keep the churning action of the stomach going even with no food in it! Acid with no food to breakdown has to break down something, so why not your gut wall? Over worry will weaken your digestive system – and even will lead to depression and despair. Address your concerns, the health of the whole stomach environment, including bacteria, your mind and hey presto, your ulcers are not a concern like they used to be.
So as you can see worry is good – helps to churn our food and also helps us to think, helps keep our thoughts moving and turning over in our mind and helps us to sort out what will nourish us when we have a healthy stomach meridian. If the stomach is not happy or healthy, then the thoughts get stuck, or they race out of control, and we may have the same thoughts over and over and over, or we will experience a continual avalanche of thoughts that overpower and overwhelm us, leaving us tired, and not able to think clearly.
So what else goes on in the body...for this is just a minute part of the effects of worry or anxiety. Basically it will cause stress...overwhelm and a feeling of life all being a bit much. Overwhelm is the most insidious form of stress – it seems to be a constant in so many lives and most people do not even know what is going on – they just feel a little stretched. Overwhelm will cause the brain to go into flight fright. This situation will send a message to the adrenal glands to release the hormone aadrenalin. Adrenalin is what our body needs to “kick it into action”, to fight or flee. Now this is really good if a life threatening incident is occurring. Most of the time in our modern society it is the fears of our mind, the “thought” that is triggering the activation of adrenalin, because there are no saber tooth tigers roaming our streets and most of what is activating our flight fight system is perceived fears. It is the story we have believed or told ourselves about what is happening. If we could look at things with a different set of lenses, a different perspective, then we would see that we do not actually need to react this way! So now the adrenalin is flowing…the roller coaster ride has started!
Adrenalin is great to fuel our cells so we can run or move, it enables us to concentrate on more than one thing at a time and gives us speed and confidence. If not utilised in physical activity and aerobic movement it is capable of lingering & can cause damage along with cortisol & cortisone within our muscles in the form of tension. So now you know why you have sore muscles sometimes and you have not been doing much!
So along with this adrenalin chemical/hormone the body also releases cortisol/cortisone to help with any inflammatory response that may result from fighting or fleeing, it assists in insulin release for blood sugar maintenance, (which I will cover a bit more in a minute), proper glucose metabolism, which is released to fuel the muscles to fight or flee and will also help with blood pressure regulation and immune function.
As the adrenalin is released the pulse rate rises, breathing becomes shallow, to get oxygen from the lungs to the bloodstream more quickly so we have the power to move quickly. Our blood thickens & this is manifest as elevated blood pressure. To fight or flee our muscles need energy so the liver dumps this energy into the muscles in the form of fat (fatty acids) and glucose. The body now realises that the need to run or stand and fight is not appropriate so what does it do with all this energy and sugar floating round? Well if not used the energy and glucose is restored as fat but has already triggered the pancreas into action....
Enter the Pancreas....The pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream to counteract the effect of the sugar, because too higher blood sugar is damaging to the brain, so now we have the brain needing protecting.
Insulin is so damaging to our arteries and some organs, particularly the brain, that they need protecting. These are protected by cholesterol being released into the arteries of the body to give them a protective coat.
So we begin to see one way that stress has a significant effect on our overall health & well being – especially if we have a sedentary lifestyle, and we are experiencing these happenings on a regular basis – no wonder we have high cholesterol levels, raised blood pressure, diabetes and a lot of very tense & sore muscles in our society.
As you can see worry has some far reaching effects – and is just one aspect of stress!
Other aspects of worry can be the redistribution of body fluids, causing dehydration. This can be in any area of the body, and a common area is the throat – where the throat may be dry & sore, also muscles that are dehydrated are sore and stiff.
Skin conditions can be a sign of stressed and worried bodies and minds, because the blood flow is continually being redirected to the muscles and the heart for action, rather than evenly distributed to nourish the whole body. If the skin is not getting nourishment and fluids via the blood flow then it will not be healthy.
Another whole system to be affected is our immune system. The body is not interested in fighting or even protecting the internal us when it is fearful of what is outside of us! That takes priority. So if you are getting continual sickness or struggle to get over things that you once knocked off in a few days – consider your worry, your stress and consider some help.
Another target area for worry and stress is our thinking – as we have mentioned about over worry and stuck thoughts, when the stress reaction kicks in the brain goes into survival mode – no time to think, to ponder the sense of what is happening, to work out whether what we are fearful of or worrying about is actually REAL and needs action, the flight fight action takes all the energy away from our thinking brain and puts it into our reptilian brain – the part of the brain that is in charge of survival!
And what about your digestive system that is already compromised because of your worry – real or imagined? You guessed it – the body is in survival...therefore digesting food is the least of its worries, all it wants to do is fight of flee – no time to churn the meal! The food then, just sits in your stomach and rots, until your body relaxes again and the digestive process can restart. This undigested food causes havoc in the whole of the intestinal tract.
“Don’t worry about the things you cannot change...for no amount of worry will them”!
“Change the way you look at those things and the things you look at will change”. Wayne Dwyer
“Worry does not take away today’s troubles – it takes away tomorrows peace”.