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Chronic Stress in the Time of COVID

The past year of the COVID Shutdown has had an impact on our routines, connections, and a shift in the perception of freedom. Looking at the world where situations and people that seemed safe before this time, now might feel riskier. Even with a pending turning point, the residue of anxiety and chronic stress from this past can still make it important to tend to the lingering mental health effects brought out through the life challenges you faced.

When stressful cycles do not resolve or get released, your body-mind system continues to store the pain from the stress within the map of your body. And, even if the turning point is near, your body-mind system needs support for recovery in creating greater calm and restoration.

Stress Response and Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis

Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis

Adrenal Stress originates with messages from your hypothalamus to your pituitary gland that release hormones to react to perceived danger and threats that then stimulate your adrenal glands to secrete cortisol.

Stress cycles have an impact on memory retention, focus, mood, and health. The Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis (HPA) process. The hypothalamus releases hormones that signal the autonomic nervous system to control body temperature, thirst, hunger, metabolic, and autonomic functions. It works with the pituitary gland through endocrine responses to signal the adrenal glands. This response also connects with limbic system (emotional brain) structures including the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, and olfactory cortex. These connections enable the hypothalamus to influence emotional responses to sensory input.

The hypothalamus sends out chemical messengers to the entire body. It controls the autonomic nervous system and is the bridge between the body and the brain. The hormonal signals from the pituitary gland to the adrenal glands create the release of adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline and cortisol hormones direct energy to respond to perceived life-threatening situations. Adrenaline messages the liver and tissue to release glucose (sugar) that is needed to either fight or run away. These hormones increase blood supply in the heart and lungs in order to supply oxygen and blood to your muscles.

When this happens your energy is directed away from digestion to conserve energy. Cortisol production ramps up to stop your pancreas from secreting insulin to utilize glucose in the bloodstream. This severely diminishes or eliminates the availability of amino acids related to optimal cellular function. In addition, this shift in energy limits thyroid hormones, to complete natural digestion, metabolism, and detoxification processes.

When cortisol is present, this leads to the production of the anti-stress hormone, DHEA to calm your system after a threat. However, the constant need for DHEA can lead to the suppression of your body’s immune response from cortisol overload. Perpetual stress without intervention or relief creates imbalance and disharmony within your body-mind system. This in turn diminishes the ability of your body to deal with bacteria, viruses, candida, or parasitic infection. Long-term stress cycle effects can show up in muscle loss, arthritis, diabetes, chronic fatigue, allergies, PMS, craving for sweets or salty foods, autoimmune disease, immune suppression, and at the far end of the spectrum, cancer.

Freedom

In order to treat the effects of this past year of stress, this is your personal invitation to nourish your body-mind-spirit system to create greater wellness and well-being. In the process, you can learn new stress avoidance behaviors and actions to replace, restore and create new opportunities for greater ease, resilience, and connection to yourself and others in life-enhancing ways.

I’d like to personally invite you to take part in a 60-minute virtual group repatterning entitled, Creating Freedom in Your Life Repatterning that is designed to give you dozens of ways to champion your inner parts that have felt threatened this past year. By doing so you can begin anew with the life-enhancing choices and actions beyond the pain as we move forward with new growth and transformation into the future.

Kimberly Rex, MS
Kimberly Rex, MS

Kimberly Rex, MS is an Advanced Resonance Repatterning practitioner, Person-Centered Expressive Therapist, and Wellness and Well-being Life Coach. She works with people all over the world by Skype, by phone, and by proxy.

Find out how Resonance Repatterning benefits your life. Set up a personal session or sign up for a free monthly newsletter with articles, natural healing modalities, and exclusive group sessions here.

Research for this article came from Resonance Repatterning, Scalar Heart Connection, and Healing Trauma training material as well as Wikipedia sources.

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