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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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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Why It is So Important to Take the Time to Just Be

Why It is So Important to Take the Time to Just Be

My friend practices Vipassana meditation and is off to a meditation retreat this weekend.  He invited me to go, but I still have a lot of unpacking to do, and I don’t feel like I can get away for a whole weekend.

This conflict remind me of the conflict between being vs. doing.

I used to be hyper focused on doing.  My list of things to do has always been longer than I have had time to complete.   But because I didn’t take the time to renew, I wasn’t enjoying life, and I wasn’t very productive while working.

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From Trauma Drama to Ease in Relationships

From Trauma Drama to Ease in Relationships

I have a client who had 2 difficult housemates and didn’t feel like he could move.   He called them entitled, and he felt like they regularly demanded far more from him than they were willing to do themselves.    He often felt enraged, like a seething volcano about ready to erupt!  He didn’t feel like he knew how to react to these kinds of stressful relationships!

He felt resentful because he was doing a large majority of the shared responsibilities.   He was very concerned about saying something because he felt that, no matter how respectful he tried to be, they had a pattern of lashing out, being vindictive, or undermining his needs.

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Six Steps to Handling Stressful Situations We Can’t Control

Six Steps to Handling Stressful Situations We Can’t Control

This year America has been in crisis mode!   With Hurricane Harvey and then Irma, the fires in the West coast, and the threats of nuclear war, I found the news to be extremely stressful!   Lucky for me, this onslaught of bad news came when I was able to handle it.   Years ago, I would have probably gotten overwhelmed and freaked out, and it would have effected my ability to work and sleep.

When the bad news just keeps coming, what is the best way to get through it and stay strong?  

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