Fight or flight

Fight or flight

Last night was the first night in a while that I was awake at 2.30 am and wasn’t able to go right back to sleep. So I’m lying there dying to go back to sleep because I’m absolutely shattered, but I can’t.

I only went to sleep at 11.30 yet I was lying in bed for half an hour struggling to get back to sleep, why? Stress! My body doesn’t handle stress very well at all, I am stuck in what you call fight or flight mode and any added stress can greatly affect my sleep.

14 Years of systematic starvation, mental and physical abuse inflicted by my father, a further 20 years of abusive controlling relationships coupled with an extremely demanding physical job, with the consistent use of toxic chemicals and a crappy diet on top has led me to where I am today, my body is in a state of chronic stress.

I have been working on lowering my stress levels recently but the last few days have seen a couple of stressful situations and last night another really stressful conversation with my partner, which led to a very unrested night’s sleep.

Thousands of Years ago (back when our ancestors were around) they would have had a relatively sedentary lifestyle. They would spend a few hours each day where they would hunt and gather and the rest of the time they would be in what we call a resting state. This is one of the reasons why our ancestors were able to fast for long periods of time because they would have spent a lot of time recharging and this would allow them to go long periods without eating.

This lack of stress and rest and recuperation would have been supporting their way of life when food was particularly scarce. This is also the reason why lots of us should not fast because we are never getting that rest and recuperation, especially as we live in a stress dominant environment.
If people are fasting while already stressed it puts even more stress on the body, making it difficult to lose weight and also to rest, repair and digest.

Our ancestors would not have had the stress that we are subjected to today, like work, mortgages, paying bills etc, they would have had relatively short bursts of stress that would allow them to go out and hunt but then their bodies would return back to normal shortly after. These days we are bombarded constantly with stress and some of us just don’t handle it very well ending up in a permanent state of fight of flight.

Fight or flight is a very powerful tool the body uses to send enough blood to the extremities and adrenalin in order for you to run away from the big bad tiger in front of you (or stand and fight him off), the problem is, if your body is prioritising blood to certain areas of the body and the body is permanently in a stressed state what happens to the other parts of the body that needs a healthy blood supply? Simple they stop working the way they should.

In order for the body to rest, digest and repair the body must not be in a stressed state all of the time, finding ways to deal with that stress is going to benefit the body with restful sleep and also to boost the immune system, the digestive system, and it will also affect how fast you recover and repair from illness and disease.

Fight or flight is a natural response from the body to dangerous situations, it’s that split-second decision that happens when faced with a danger, some people get pumped and will fight back and others get scared and run away, both reactions are perfectly normal reactions to stress.
Once the threat is gone the body switches back and we are able to go back into a non fight or flight mode, but in some people like me that switch is faulty and we end up permanently stuck in that stressed state, this has a huge negative impact on the body as it is never able to rest and switch off EVER!

One of the things affected when you are in that stressed state is sleep, people in a state of stress are never able to completely switch off, and they tend to have insomnia, disturbed sleep, stressed adrenals, high cortisol, low immune systems, and too much thinking.

With people like me it is important to avoid:
• Stress
• Stressful situations
• People who are negative or have a negative impact on you
• Watching the news or listening to the radio with all the doom and gloom in the world
When we are surrounded by the consistent negative energy it can not only make your symptoms worse but it can stop you losing weight and also have an effect on your day to day life.

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