What a thought can do to your body

Most people know about fight or flight and how our bodies have a physiological reaction to a perceived threat.  Whether its a physical or psychological threat the outcomes to the body and mind are similar – we get braced for a fight or energise our muscles to run.  So whether its a caveman running from a sabre toothed tiger or your boss yelling at you the physical effects are similar in the short term:
  • your digestion system shuts down – absorbing nutrients takes energy and the body needs the energy for a fight – hence constipation, IBS etc
  • your muscles tense ready for a fight – you are braced, your body becomes brittle and armoured  – neck pain, lower back pain
  • your heart rate rises to pump blood to the major organs of movement – heart rate increases
  • hormones secreted constrict blood vessels to enable blood to be pumped to the major muscle groups quickly – blood pressure rises and your face gets red
  • the muscles of fight/flight are prioritised – there is a dramatic reduction in flow to non essential areas – like the skin, kidneys and re productive areas – so you wont look good and your bits and pieces wont work so well
  • your pupils dilate in order to pick up more information from our surroundings –you look a bit unhinged
  • proteins, carbohdrates and fat are stored in your body and during fight flight are mobilised and dumped into the bloodstream to provide energy for the major muscles of movement.  They circulate in the bloodstream as amino acids, glucose and fatty acids and can adhere to the constricted blood vessel walls –increasing your chances of heart disease or stroke.  
  • amino acids are not great sources of energy so during fight/flight the protein in muscles is dumped into the blood stream and then converted by the liver into glucose – this increases diabetes risk and makes it hard for the mega stressed to grow lean muscle mass
  • when the fight flight emergency ends the amino acids, glucose and fatty acids are re absorbed, often in fat store deposits – this requires a huge amount of energy to convert from one form of storage – hence we get tired easily and store fat deposits
Fight/flight was designed an evolutionary response to physical threat.  But human beings are amongst a unique group of animals who can live in fear of the past and the future and create physiological damage just through the power of our thoughts. However we have a number of positive options for trying to manage a mind that darts and roams to dangerous places ;

Physical exercise – say your boss makes you feel small in front of people you might have a fight/flight reaction – you may want to stuff his teeth down the back of his neck.  But you can’t so you sit there and take it.  Shaky legs because you want to kick him in the chops and angry dilated pupils so you can aim your foot in the right place.  So the solution is to be an animal.  Be your natural self.  Go to the gym and kick the crap out of a punch bag or run, like you are running away from a tiger.  Its what your body is made to do

Empty your head of thoughts every so often – if you try empting your head of thoughts you get into the practice of observing thoughts as they arise.  And as the observer of yourself you might note some pretty alarming ones – I’m fat, I’m old, I can never do that – these are self inflicted psychological and physiological wounds – you are hurting your own body and mind with a thousand small cuts that you might not even be aware of .  There are so many great techniques that help you banish these internal thieves (thieves of your present and future health and happiness).  For example by learning to focus on your breath you focus on the moment, clear thoughts and engage the parasympathetic nervous system, reversing many of the negative effects of fight flight

Mind therapies – another way to tackle these thieves is through discussion and observation of thoughts, emotions and actions with an experienced coach.  This is where our mind therapies business can help you build a positive internal dialogue which will help you create and nourish your body at the cellular level.  I’ve written about this many times – people who are able to develop an internal feel good  state (which is not just reliant on fleeting hedonistic events) live longer, are more resistant to disease and infection and find it easier to build strong healthy bodies.  Focussing on developing a positive internal world shines through on the outside.  As I set out above your skin will glow because blood is pumped to it, your eyes will be soft and gentle and not angry and demanding, and your actions and movement will be measured and considered.

Here is our mind therapies team !!!

Monica Black – Clinical Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner
As one of the country’s leading qualified Master Clinical Hypnotherapists, Master NLP Practitioner, EMDR Practitioner, Monica has successfully helped many people
overcome all kinds of conditions and ailments which manifest either physically or emotionally such as weight loss, addictions, building confidence, conceiving etc. She further coaches in mindfulness and public speaking as well as works as a Media Lifestyle Commentator.
Monica is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine, CNHC, GHR, GHSC, ANLP, BATtH.
Contact Monica on 07776230332 or 0207 419 2211 or see her websitewww.hampsteadhypnotherapy.com

Marion Beauregard  – Sophrology practitioner 
Sophrology is a gentle non-intrusive technique improving quality of life, helping clients feel aligned with their environments, resources and values.  Marion has specialised in this cutting edge discipline, working both on the body and the mind, combining breathing exercises, muscular relaxation, gentle movements and visualisations. With a previous ‘life’ in marketing and extensive travelling experience, French-born Marion brings to the UK a new unique therapy practice and is qualified with the International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC) .
Contact Marion on 07929056135 and find out more about her at www.vie-tality.com

Madeleine Mason – Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, Relationship Coach
With an MSc and BSc in psychology, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy training and a background in the mental health profession specialising in quality of life, Madeleine brings extensive expertise to PassionSmiths. Having experience in marriage, dating and relationships, Madeleine is passionate about helping people to understand their own needs and getting successful results. She is a member of the British Psychological Society and the International Positive Psychology Association.  Contact Madeleine on 07707689900 and find out more about her at http://www.passionsmiths.com.

Daniel Williams – Psychotherapist and Relationship Coach
Trained as a psychotherapist, Dan is highly experienced in working with many different client needs, including couples with relationship issues. With a successful ‘previous life’ in the IT world as well as personal experience of dating and marriage, Dan brings crucial wisdom to the sessions at PassionSmiths. He is registered with the UK Council for Psychotherapy.  Contact Dan on 07557667137 and find out more about him athttp://www.passionsmiths.com.

Andy Roberts – Life Coach
With an MSc in Positive Psychology and training in Yoga, Andy specialises in stress management techniques including breath work and positive visualisation.  With previous experience working in finance, Andy understands the stresses involved with working in the city and combines his psychological and holistic trainings to help people focus on the positive in order to overcome life’s challenges.  Andy is an accredited Emotional Intelligence coach. Contact Andy on 07766343931 and find out more about him athttp://www.breathe-london.com/positive-psychotherapy

Dorinda Talbot – Psychotherapist and Mindfulness Coach
Trained in Core Process Psychotherapy, Dorinda combines her psychotherapeutic training with a Buddhism-based understanding of the transformative power of awareness.  Dorinda offers open-ended therapy incorporating voice dialogue sessions and mindfulness coaching to bring greater ease, intimacy and possibility into people’s lives.  Dorinda’s sessions are useful in dealing with many issues including (but not limited to!) anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, low self-esteem, stress, grief, life transitions, addictions, feeling stuck and lost and emotional management issues.  Contact Dorinda on 07949868426 and find out more about her athttp://dorindatalbot.com/

David Lewis – Cognitive Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist and Coach
David has a comprehensive list of trainings in Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy and Coaching.  Having worked as a psychotherapist at St Thomas’s Hospital from 2005-2010, David brings a wealth of excellent experience to his practice helping people tackle their anxiety, depression and relationship issues as well as phobias, fears and addiction problems. David’s professional memberships include the UK Council for Psychotherapy the National Council for Hypnotherapy. Contact David on 07545871504 and find out more about him at http://changeandmore.co.uk


Posted on November 19, 2013, in Coaching, Meditation etc., positive psychology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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