Musings: Calming Stress

Last year when I decided upon “Calming Stress” as a theme for the spring 2010 issue of Spirit of Change, I envisioned our country moving towards prosperity and modernization under the progressive new leadership of the Obama administration, providing an opportunity for us to catch our breath. President Obama promised transparency, but what has been exposed is the devastating effect of greed, corruption and power struggles that gridlock our legislature against taking reasonable action to address any of the major crises we face: a debt-ridden economy, broken healthcare system and catastrophic climate change, just to name a few. Our country, not to mention the rest of the world, is careening towards disaster, but our elected representatives appear to accomplish nothing other than peddling influence, counting votes and thumbing their noses at each other!

How in the world is anyone supposed to reduce stress while living amidst the backdrop of these landmines embedded in our daily lives? And that’s only if you are one of the lucky ones who hasn’t been directly hit by job loss, house foreclosure or a serious medical condition, possibly resulting in bankruptcy or disability. “I’ve never seen things so messed up,” my friend’s 80+year-old aunt recently confided to her, hinting at the stress that such daily uncertainty and insecurity brings. Stress is the body’s natural response to any stressor — real or imagined — and is well documented as a major contributing factor to many diseases including cancer, heart disease, depression and obesity. Here’s why.

According to Karen Moriarty, DC, a recent speaker at the Wellness Roundtable holistic networking meeting, your body operates from an impressive innate intelligence network that keeps you alive and functioning without any active involvement by you. You breathe, circulate blood, eliminate waste, digest food, regulate growth, heal wounds and perform thousands of other vital functions without ever consciously directing the course of a single thought or action to do so. The innate intelligence of the 70 trillion cells in your body takes care of all this for you. To get an idea of how vast 70 trillion is, consider that 1 trillion seconds ago it was 29,760 BC! Any intelligence that can coordinate 70 trillion cells all firing at once to sustain the miraculously complex workings of the human body is certainly worth paying attention to!

Stress sends an alarm through the body that danger lurks nearby and the body’s response is to pump the hormone, cortisol, into its system so it can quickly spring into action. Cortisol elevates blood pressure and blood sugar levels and inhibits immune and repair functions so more vital energy is available for “fight or flight” activities. Even if the danger is only perceived and not real, such as months or years of living under the threat of house foreclosure, job loss or a cancer diagnosis, a body under stress remains tense and inflexible, and therefore more susceptible to disease and illness. Dis-ease causes disease.

The wisdom of your body tells you to reduce chronic stress or you’ll wear out your batteries. It does not advise you to lower your blood pressure or your blood sugar because those symptoms occur naturally when your cortisol levels are elevated. When your body hurts, is sick or exhausted, it’s telling you it needs help and there’s interference from outside sources such as stress, toxins or harmful activities preventing your optimal wellness. Check in with the genius overseeing your 70 trillion cells and ask what you can do to support its natural healing work. There will be a solution as surely as there is a symptom. If you eliminate the symptom before you find out why it’s there and what it has to tell you, you’ve thrown away the key to finding the solution.

The storm clouds are gathering around the outrageous cost, dubious results and unethical practices of the pharmaceutical and healthcare insurance industries. Many people are questioning the wisdom of taking so many drugs and diagnostic tests in order to be “healthy,” as well as the push to continually medicate healthy people through vaccines. Now is the time to get acquainted with your innate healing intelligence and allow it to start healing you. Pick a symptom and ask how you can heal it, remembering that you are communicating with an intelligence network that knows more about your body than all the databases in the entire world. Alternative medicine and holistic therapies are non-invasive and partner perfectly with your body’s innate intelligence in healing itself.

Watch your stress level calm as you take health back into your own hands. Like Dorothy and her ruby red slippers, the power has been with you all along.

Carol Bedrosian is publisher and editor of Spirit of Change Magazine. Visit