|Finding a correct
We all experience stress from
time-to-time at different levels and variances as it is an unavoidable
consequence of living. Hans Selye (who coined the term as it
is currently used) noted, "Without stress, there would be no life".
It can wreak
havoc on one’s health!
There are two types of stress;
one being eurostress, which is good stress (ie winning a competition),
and the other being distress, which is bad stress (ie losing the competition).
However, these two types of stress can trigger very different biological
responses ranging from wellness to disease. One must find the proper
level of stress to enable him or her to perform optimally as we go through
What is Stress?
The body responds hormonally
to stress by releasing stress hormones called epinephrine or adrenaline
and cortisol. These hormones result in increased blood sugar and
insulin levels and can impair one’s efforts to stay in the Zone.
Virtually all systems (ie the heart and blood vessels, the immune system,
the lungs, the digestive system, the sensory organs, and brain) are modified
to meet what they believe to be a perceived danger.
Stress can also be referred
to as acute (ie short-term) or chronic (long-term).
Acute stress is the body’s
reaction to an immediate threat and is often referred to as the fight or
flight response. In most cases once the threat has passed one‘s
stress hormones will return to normal.
Chronic stress is a result
of on-going stressful situations that are not short-lived. The fight
or flight response must be suppressed and as a result the stress becomes
chronic. Unfortunately, chronic stress will chronically elevate insulin
levels. Weight gain and a wide variety of other negative consequences
will result from chronic stress.
The Zone Can Help Control
A hormonally correct diet
is one’s primary tool to improve emotional control. Conversely, a
hormonally incorrect diet is one’s passport to emotional chaos.
Emotions cannot be isolated,
but hormones can. Since eicosanoids are controlled by the Zone diet,
it is possible the Zone diet can be used to manipulate emotions.
For example, when we are
stressed or depressed we tend to reach for carbohydrate rich foods (ie
chips, chocolates, dessert, alcohol) which give a temporary increase in
blood glucose to the brain. Unfortunately, this causes an insulin
spike, glucagon is suppressed, cortisol is increased and bad eicosanoids
are produced, which leads to more depression. It is a vicious cycle!!
Improved control over insulin and eicosanoid balance leads to better emotional
To help reduce stress
supplement with pharmaceutical
grade fish oil
reduce excess insulin by following
meditate - Yoga is a great stress
reliever and has been clinically proven to lower cortisol levels
book frequent massages
take time for recreation
take mini vacations
laugh - laughter reduces stress