A New Discovery about the link between Stress, Sleep and Healing

A New Discovery about the link between Stress, Sleep and Healing

If a client is struggling with several chronic conditions where their problems are growing, I often find out that they aren’t sleeping well.

Sleep is vital for our bodies to repair.

Why?

Our bodies operate in two main modes. We have an autonomic nervous system that operates either in a rest and digest state, called the parasympathetic nervous system, or the fight and flight state, called the sympathetic nervous system. Our bodies cannot operate in both modes simultaneously. By default, the parasympathetic nervous system turns off the sympathetic nervous system.

Our bodies need to be able to default to the parasympathetic state in order to heal. And a lack of sleep might indicate that we can’t relax enough for our bodies to repair. Our bodies cannot both be in fight or flight, and rest and digest at the same time.

We have also known that sleep helps solidify what we’ve learned, and that our brains detoxify during sleep.

But recently, a new discovery at the University of Rochester shows a clear demonstration of how stress inhibits both our ability to sleep, and our ability to heal.

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We Need Trust to Thrive

We Need Trust to Thrive

My world without trust

I grew up in an environment where I was regularly criticized, berated, or yelled at for minor infractions. I never knew when the tirades would come, and so I tried at all costs to avoid my parents. But it wasn’t easy to thrive in our small home. I didn’t know who I could trust. I felt like I was constantly walking on eggshells, and because I felt I could be blamed for just about anything, the world did not feel like a safe, just, or fair place to be.

It took decades to finally understand the diagnoses that explained my parent’s behaviors. But as a kid, it was much harder to make sense of the anger. I alternated between trying to please them and lashing out. Because I couldn’t make sense of my life at home and lacked healthy parenting, I had to draw my own conclusions about the world. I decided that I had to take care of myself. I couldn’t trust people of authority or God. Love wasn’t something that I could count on. I couldn’t trust that good things or good people could come my way.

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Permission to Grieve

Permission to Grieve

Memorial Day.

Usually it’s for grieving over the loss of our war veterans.

But this year, let’s use it to honor our grief for what we’ve lost due to COVID-19.

While I believe its important to look for the silver linings and stay positive, it’s essential that we take the time we need to grieve our losses.

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Chronic Stress, Your Immune System & Response to the Coronavirus

Chronic Stress, Your Immune System & Response to the Coronavirus

While our bodies are adapted to handle short term stressors, they are not equipped for the chronic stress so many Americans endure.

Once you are used to chronic stress, it can be hard to get out of the habit.  We often feel that we can’t, that we have too many people to please and obligations to fulfill.  But being chronically stressed is not sustainable.

Chronic stress makes us more irritable, makes it harder for us to relax, and increases our risk of almost every disease, including infectious diseases.

And now with a lurking deadly virus, this is a great time to prioritize our immunity to build resilience!

Below are 3 compelling ways chronic stress weakens our ability to fight pathogens, and especially the Coronavirus.

My mission is not to scare you out of your wits, but to scare you into your wits.  Revisiting these has helped compel me to make lowering my stress an important priority, and I hope it will do the same for you.

Plus at the end, I’ll reveal my favorite stress relieving strategy which you don’t want to miss.

 

Top 3 ways chronic stress affects our immunity and susceptibility to the Coronavirus:

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To Fear or Not To Fear the Coronavirus

To Fear or Not To Fear the Coronavirus

As a Holisitic Brain Health Practitioner, I’m a huge fan of Dr. Bruce Lipton, but he and many others are warning people about the dangers of fear, and I’m sensing a dismissing  of the magnitide of this outbreak.

But as an epidemiologist, I think that’s dangerous.

We have to honor our emotions.  They are there for a good reason. We want fear when we encounter a tiger.  The Cornoavirus is today’s tiger.

That being said we need a balance.

Lets talk about healthy vs. vs. unhealthy fear.

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Its Time to Make Compassion Cool!

Its Time to Make Compassion Cool!

As a 6th grader, I read Farewell to Manzanar, the book about a young girl’s experience being interned in the Japanese internment camps in 1941.  I also read the Diary of Anne Frank, and then Roots (because mom wouldn’t let me watch it on TV).  Then in college, I took a class on the holocaust.

As an empath, I felt the pain of those who suffered during such awful times in history.  But I wasn’t interested in being depressed.  I was looking for answers.   Why were so many people willing to tolerate so much cruelty?  Why did so many people just look the other way?

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