The Science of Stress and How Our Emotions Affect Our Susceptibility to Burnout and Disease

Illustration from ‘Neurocomic,’ a graphic novel about how the brain works. Click image for more.

How your memories impact your immune system, why moving is one of the most stressful life-events, and what your parents have to do with your predisposition to PTSD.

I had lived thirty good years before enduring my first food poisoning — odds quite fortunate in the grand scheme of things, but miserably unfortunate in the immediate experience of it. I found myself completely incapacitated to erect the pillars of my daily life — too cognitively foggy to read and write, too physically weak to work out or even meditate. The temporary disability soon elevated the assault on my mind and body to a new height of anguish: an intense experience of stress. Even as I consoled myself with Nabokov’s exceptionally florid account of food poisoning, I couldn’t shake the overwhelming malaise that had engulfed me — somehow, a physical illness had completely colored my psychoemotional reality.

This experience, of course, is far from uncommon. Long before scientists began shedding light on how our minds and bodies actually affect one another, an intuitive understanding of this dialogue between the body and the emotions, or feelings, emerged and permeated our very language: We use “feeling sick” as a grab-bag term for both the sensory symptoms — fever, fatigue, nausea — and the psychological malaise, woven of emotions like sadness and apathy.

Pre-modern medicine, in fact, has recognized this link between disease and emotion for millennia. Ancient Greek, Roman, and Indian Ayurvedic physicians all enlisted the theory of the four humors — blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm — in their healing practices, believing that imbalances in these four visible secretions of the body caused disease and were themselves often caused by the emotions. These beliefs are fossilized in our present language — melancholy comes from the Latin words for “black” (melan) and “bitter bile” (choler), and we think of a melancholic person as gloomy or embittered; a phlegmatic person is languid and impassive, for phlegm makes one lethargic.

Chart of the four humors from a 1495 medical textbook by Johannes de Ketham

And then French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes came along in the seventeenth century, taking it upon himself to eradicate the superstitions that fueled the religious wars of the era by planting the seed of rationalism. But the very tenets that laid the foundation of modern science — the idea that truth comes only from what can be visibly ascertained and proven beyond doubt — severed this link between the physical body and the emotions; those mysterious and fleeting forces, the biological basis of which the tools of modern neuroscience are only just beginning to understand, seemed to exist entirely outside the realm of what could be examined with the tools of rationalism.

For nearly three centuries, the idea that our emotions could impact our physical health remained scientific taboo — setting out to fight one type of dogma, Descartes had inadvertently created another, which we’re only just beginning to shake off. It was only in the 1950s that Austrian-Canadian physician and physiologist Hans Selye pioneered the notion of stress as we now know it today, drawing the scientific community’s attention to the effects of stress on physical health and popularizing the concept around the world. (In addition to his scientific dedication, Selye also understood the branding component of any successful movement and worked tirelessly to include the word itself in dictionaries around the world; today, “stress” is perhaps the word pronounced most similarly in the greatest number of major languages.)

But no researcher has done more to illuminate the invisible threads that weave mind and body together than Dr. Esther Sternberg. Her groundbreaking work on the link between the central nervous system and the immune system, exploring how immune molecules made in the blood can trigger brain function that profoundly affects our emotions, has revolutionized our understanding of the integrated being we call a human self. In the immeasurably revelatory The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions (public library), Sternberg examines the interplay of our emotions and our physical health, mediated by that seemingly nebulous yet, it turns out, remarkably concrete experience called stress…

more…

https://www.brainpickings.org/

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How to Break Up: The Annoying Neighbor

Ensure your relationship with the guy on the other side of the fence starts and ends with a neighborly wave

by  Adam Elder

Claiming your independence from some people in your life is easy. That childhood friend who wants to keep up with you on Facebook? Unfollow and delete their number. Unhappy with your barber? Go to a different shop. But other people in your life can be more difficult. For example…

Your boundary-oblivious neighbor: Sure, it’s nice that he’s friendly, but what if he’s too friendly? Uninvited pop-ins, requests for favors, constantly borrowing stuff, relentlessly inviting you to poker nights with his equally irritating friends. Sometimes, you just want to live somewhere without having to be BFFs with the person adjacent to you.

If your neighbor turns on you, though, you could experience decades’ worth of awkwardness, so for guidance on ridding yourself of the pest without the fallout, we turned to Shasta Nelson, a friendship expert and author of Frientimacy and Friendships Don’t Just Happen!

She warns that if you want your relationship with your neighbor to be courteous but not overly familiar, it requires a bit of finesse. With relationships like this, she explains, “We can’t entirely break up with them. It’s like going through a divorce if you have kids — you still have something holding you together. Ultimately, what we’re trying to get to is a positive relationship with good boundaries.”

As the poet Robert Frost wisely wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors.” But while he knew that boundaries are important, bad neighbors never seem to understand this. Nelson recommends creating clearer boundaries by both decreasing the amount of time you spend with them, and limiting your interaction — especially in terms of what you share about yourself.

Instead, she says, keep things polite but firm. If they show up on your doorstep for no good reason, it’s easy and acceptable to say, “Sorry, now’s not a good time.” It helps to follow this with a positive comment, like letting them know that “it’s great to have a friendly neighbor,” before offering up an alternative: Tell them that it works better for you if they text or email you first next time, rather than showing up unannounced. Their behavior won’t change overnight, but if you repeat the message often enough — and do it consistently — they’ll come to respect your privacy without taking it as a personal snub.

It’s also vital to remember the five-to-one relationship ratio. “We know from research that all healthy relationships have a ratio of five positive [interactions] to one negative,” Nelson says. “When that ratio starts falling, things get amplified.” So a wave, a smile, a hello, a “Nice lawn, man!” are all positives that don’t require much, and they add up quickly and easily, making your negative one — creating some distance between you — easier to swallow.

It’ll be a tricky relationship to maintain at first, but it’s worth it. And anything’s easier than moving, right?

https://melmagazine.com/how-to-break-up-the-annoying-neighbor-f2a7f11dda4f

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PHOTOS OF NJ GOVERNOR CLAIMING CLOSED BEACH FOR HIS PERSONAL USE A REMINDER OF WHY REVOLUTIONS HAPPEN

by Isaac DavisStaff Writer Waking Times

American Independence Day is upon us, and millions of the tax-paying subjects of big government will be enjoying a short furlough from hard work to spend time with family and friends in many of America’s beautiful parks.

For Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, though, this year’s 4th of July celebration is a reminder of just how good it is to be king. Photos of Christie and his family relaxing in the sun at a closed Island Beach State Park, N.J. have sparked outrage, and serve as a reminder of why revolutions happen: government always abuses its subjects.

 

The park was closed last week as a result of a state budget crisis and a “government shutdown,” therefore, thousands of area residents and beachgoers are being denied access to this magnificent beach over the 4th of July holiday. Meanwhile, Gov. Christie, who is apparently above the law, is free to take temporary personal ownership of this choice strip of planet earth.

 

 

Apparently, another one of the many perks of being governor of New Jersey is the personal use of a beachfront mansion in Island Beach State Park. This is of course paid for by the state’s tax-cattle, those masses of peasants who shall remain cramped into the public sections of New Jersey waterline this holiday. After lounging in their publicly owned mansion, the Christie’s appear to have had a great time on a secluded Jersey shore.

 

 

The notion of a ‘government shutdown’ over budget shortcuts has become a strange new American fiction in the age of astronomical government debt. Whenever parasitic government officials cannot decide how to divvy up stolen money to corrupt corporations and self-interests, they threaten the American people with a government shutdown. This is an attempt to frighten and confuse Americans who already suffer from severe Stockholm Syndrome as a result of being lied to and abused for decades.

A government shutdown never means that the government actually shuts down. It means that the government cuts off desirable services to the people as a means of coercion and psychological abuse. The government never shuts down foreign occupations, it never shuts down paychecks to government employees, and rest assured the government never shuts down those agencies which spy on Americans or police them in order to extract money from them.

 

And it certainly didn’t shut down Christie’s beachfront mansion.

Apparently the New Jersey government still has enough cash on hand pay armed guards to keep watch at the border of Island Beach State Park, preventing tax-payers from disturbing the Christie family’s privacy.

 

This kind of arrogance and open disdain for the populace is the kind of stark reminder Americans need this Independence Day, for we are supposed to be free human beings. That is what July 4th is supposed to be about. But, nothing makes it more clear that big government and those who lurk in its high offices don’t care about ordinary people, and are happy to take advantage of their labor and obedience. 

Final Thoughts

The irony of this happening over the July 4th, Independence Day holiday can hardly be lost on any American with the most basic understanding of American history and how far we’ve drifted from the original philosophical principles which created are supposed to have founded this nation.

The Declaration of Independence is quite relevant reading for all tyrants, would-be kings and members of the tax-paying classes.

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

About the Author

Isaac Davis is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and OffgridOutpost.com Survival Tips blog. He is an outspoken advocate of liberty and of a voluntary society. He is an avid reader of history and passionate about becoming self-sufficient to break free of the control matrix. Follow him on Facebook, here.

This article (Photos of NJ Governor Claiming Closed Beach for His Personal Use a Reminder of Why Revolutions Happen) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Isaac Davis and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/07/03/photos-nj-governor-claiming-closed-beach-personal-use-reminder-revolutions-happen/

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