My new worst enemy… Adrenaline!

StressOh yes! Adrenaline is my new worst enemy *nods head*

So how did this new finding come about? Therapy on Monday… having the stress cycle explained to me.

She thought it might be a good time. I would totally agree as I was covered in hives *shakes head* They came up the previous Wednesday. A stress reaction. Hmm, the last time I had hives was September… yeah, and I tried to drive into an intersection not long after in a moment when I snapped. Yep, hitting high stress levels is not good at all.

Anyway, back to the stress cycle…

We start with stress… and stress can be good or bad, but every time something happens the muscles tighten a little. Eventually the muscles reach a point of tenseness that the ol’ body decides… Fuck! and into fight or flight mode we go. You see the body doesn’t make any distinction between a slow build up of tension or the sudden tension of being in danger. It’s a chemical reaction and the body is just doing its thing.

Fight or flight. That’s when adrenaline shows its ugly self. What happens after the adrenaline kicks in to stress? Anger, moodiness, depression, etc… all those lovely moods.

Which of course, leads to those wonderfully healthy thoughts that follow. You know the type… the type that tells you every terrible thing that is going to happen or reminds you of all the awful stuff. All to remind you… I’m so great, not!

So what do these negative thoughts do? They build up more muscle tension, which continues the cycle.

Yep, that’s the stress cycle simplified.

Of course, it doesn’t end there. If you miss that little window where your body tells you… time to sleep now! and releases some of that good stuff to help you sleep? Well, seems the ol’ body then decides… Damn! Must be a reason we’re staying awake! Better give a kick of adrenaline to get through whatever is happening. Guess that means thirty years of intermittent insomnia has not been good to me *nods head*

Sleep, you are a fickle fiend.

It doesn’t end there! There’s food. Ya know when you get stressed and you lose your appetite? Have a guess what happens when you don’t eat for a few hours… Old faithful decides you’re in trouble, of the starvation kind, and sets off yet another chemical reaction to do with adrenaline.

Stunned silence.

Adrenaline kicking in over and over again… anger, moodiness, depression, etc… Damn! Sigh.

Quickest and easiest way to nip the stress cycle in the bud… relax the muscles. That’s right. Relax the muscles. I go through several times a day and work through the different muscle groups and relax them.

The other things? Eat something every few hours, even if it’s only a tablespoon of food, a couple of nuts. Something to let the body know you’re not starving.

Oh, and try to catch that early sleep reminder the body gives. Interestingly it is almost as good to lay in bed relaxed and awake than it is to sleep. Well, at least it’s better than being active in some way.

The changes already… I’ve noticed something gone this week. Oh yes, something is gone… that horrible acid feeling in the stomach. Hmm, that’s a feeling I’ve been too used to feeling… almost constantly for the last few years. The hives are going down faster than they did last time as well. I don’t feel as stressed. Yep, good things already.

Winning this battle at least *laughs*

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Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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3 thoughts on “My new worst enemy… Adrenaline!

  1. This is a great explanation! I love the idea of relaxing the muscles. I have noticed lately that whenever I am stressed, something is very tense. I don’t even realize I am tensing!

    • I don’t realise either, so the habit of relaxing them has been helping. I use a ‘spaghetti’ visualisation, imagining the muscles becoming floppy like coooked spaghetti 😀 Even my panics going to shopping centres have finally let go! That whole acid feeling in the stomach… gone.

  2. Pingback: Battlefield Sleep « Randomly Mari

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