Participants: Agatha Thrash (Host), Don Miller
Series Code: HYTH
Program Code: HYTH000206
00:01 Life is stressful, but most of us have grown accustomed
00:05 to it, so we adjust to our stresses and we think this is
00:09 normal but if your stresses bother you then you might like
00:14 to stay with us for this program because we're going to be
00:17 discussing some very interesting things about stress.
00:38 Welcome to Help Yourself To Health
00:41 with Dr. Agatha Thrash of Uchee Pines Institute
00:44 and now here is your host Dr. Thrash.
00:49 I've often wondered what heaven is going to be like with no
00:53 the stress having to do with noise, with television,
00:59 with all sorts of problems in life, what will heaven be like
01:04 if we don't have to deal with these stresses?
01:06 I think that my almost entire life has been spent dealing
01:10 with stresses one way or other.
01:12 Let's just take the stresses of television, now I don't have TV
01:18 in my home so I can't really attest to the fact that it's
01:22 highly stressful because in my home it isn't,
01:25 but when I watch commercial TV I find that the television
01:32 itself is stressful, it moves, it blares at you, it flickers,
01:37 and it flashes and things are going on all the time,
01:41 and you are sort of dizzy watching it.
01:44 Of course I understand that people that don't watch TV
01:46 an hour or so every day, that they don't really get inured
01:54 to the TV and so when the TV is moving they are glued to it
01:59 and I have found that this is the fact with me when I'm around
02:03 commercial TV I am fascinated by what's going to happen next,
02:09 is something going to hit me from all these flashing lights?
02:12 Well at any rate those thing can be stressful.
02:17 What about newspapers? Newspapers come in every day
02:20 and they have all sorts of news that's upsetting, things that
02:26 have to do with people's crimes, with what's going on in the
02:30 world today, all of these kinds of things can be very stressful.
02:33 Have you noticed that a lot of machinery in the house,
02:37 machinery is whirring or buzzing or squealing and when it's
02:43 turned off, it's awfully nice.
02:45 Some times in the rural area where I live at Uchee Pines
02:50 when the electricity goes off it's so nice because the house
02:55 is so quiet, it's normally quiet in the woods but now
02:59 the house becomes quiet too, and it's so peaceful.
03:03 Then when the electricity goes back on everything starts
03:06 whirring again and it's amazing that you become accustomed
03:11 to that and you hardly even know that it's there.
03:14 No what about light? Light can also be stressful,
03:17 they found in doing some laboratory tests that people
03:22 who were doing a project had set things up in a certain way
03:27 and they got a certain expected result from the laboratory
03:34 animals, but then another time they set up exactly the same
03:38 program and the animals didn't react in the same way,
03:42 so they were studying what was different this time that made
03:45 it so that it didn't react as it did before, the only thing
03:49 was the presence of a little light in the laboratory.
03:52 So what they did, they set it up again and had two groups
03:57 of animals, one with a little light, the other with no light
04:01 at all, and they found that the results were quite different.
04:05 So we know that light does have an effect on the
04:10 animal mechanism, so if we consider all these things we
04:16 will not be surprised at the great list of things that can
04:20 happen to us from great stresses: depression, anxiety,
04:24 irritability, fatigue, inability to cope, just sort of quit,
04:30 insomnia, panic attacks, reduced immunity, sweaty palms, nausea &
04:36 vomiting, digestive problems, increased blood pressure,
04:39 trembling when you are not cold, and a host of other things,
04:42 just all sorts of things can be the result of having stress.
04:48 So since we make a physiologic response to stress I have
04:54 Dr. Don Miller here who is going to talk with you now about
04:57 some responses that the body makes to stress, Dr. Miller!
05:01 - If you talk to an evolutionist they say well this stress
05:06 response is a result of back when we were the prey and being
05:10 preyed upon by the big animals but God has given us stress
05:14 as a gift and I'm thankful for it, there has been times in my
05:17 life that I've been very thankful to have what happens
05:20 during the stress response.
05:21 We find that during the stress response, the body responds
05:25 the same way as it does during exercise, and you might find
05:30 this out, what happens when you exercise, let me just read
05:33 off a few things that are going to happen within your body:
05:35 Your heart rate, your blood pressure and respiration are
05:38 going to go up, you say that's a no brainer, the same thing
05:42 happens when you go into a stress response, you find
05:46 yourself in a stressful situation and you find yourself
05:48 all of a sudden breathing more rapidly and your heart rate
05:51 has gone up and your blood pressure has gone up,
05:53 your sugar goes up when you are in a stress response
05:56 or exercising, the adrenals sends a message to your liver
06:00 releases glucose from the glycogen and pretty soon you
06:04 got a large amount of sugar circulating through your system,
06:07 the same thing happens from your muscles.
06:10 The muscle converts it's glycogen into glucose and you
06:14 have the energy to do what you need to do.
06:16 Same thing has happened in the stress response,
06:18 muscle function increases, your senses become keener
06:22 your pupils dilate and you see better especially at night,
06:26 these things happen in a stress response, they happen also
06:30 in an exercise response, breathing becomes more rapid
06:34 and more shallow, that's a stress response and an exercise
06:38 response, digestion is suppressed, we find that
06:42 a person goes into a stress situation and I bet that most
06:46 of you have found the situation out, you've been eating
06:48 or you've just eaten and you get into a stressful situation
06:51 and it feels like the food is laying there for a long long
06:55 time, and so the stress and exercise both suppress digestion
07:00 because of a reason the body needs the energy in the exercise
07:05 or the stress situation and digestion takes a huge amount
07:09 of energy from the body so it sort of just stops
07:12 and also stress hormones go up in the body in a stress
07:17 situation and in an exercise situation.
07:20 Why is this significant, well it's very significant for this
07:24 reason, if we exercise from 30- 60 minutes every day
07:29 or quite frequently our body goes through the entire stress
07:34 response as a result of exercise, the same physiological
07:38 things happening in exercise.
07:40 If we teach our body to do this by going through this exercise
07:44 when you get into the stressful situation, it has learned to go
07:48 through it's cycle and be back to normal within one hour.
07:51 Some people carry their stress for long periods of time,
07:55 they get into a stressful situation and it stay with them
07:59 for hours and sometimes days, but if we could get that
08:02 exercise, now there is a saying that I want you to say right
08:04 there where you are sitting, "exercise neutralizes stress,"
08:09 say it again, "exercise neutralizes stress."
08:12 We find that if we get into a stress situation we need to
08:16 exercise, now what happens, you are on your way to the
08:20 airport and you look at your time and you get to a point
08:24 where you know you are not going to make it, the traffic
08:27 is stacked up and you are now in a stressful situation,
08:30 you really can't exercise at this point so what you need
08:33 to do is relax and do something else I'm going to talk about
08:36 in a little bit, but for right now exercise is a blessing,
08:41 stress is a blessing.
08:43 I remember a few years ago I was down in the country of
08:44 Zimbabwe and I got out of my vehicle and I was taking a walk
08:49 down a road and there was a male lion, and the male lion
08:53 got up like he was going to come for breakfast and the
08:56 stress response was immediate in my body, my senses were
09:01 keener, my blood pressure went up, my pulse rate went up,
09:05 my glucose shot into my system, and I was back in that vehicle
09:08 so fast, I'm thankful for the stress response we just have to
09:12 learn how to manage our stress, and there are a few tips
09:14 that we can do from there to learn how to manage the stress
09:18 but Dr. Thrash has a few things now she wants to say about
09:20 stress and I'll get back to some really good suggestions.
09:24 - Yes, I'd like to talk with you about how diet is related to
09:28 stress, you might think well it's not very much related
09:32 I eat and I don't feel stress, or I eat and I don't feel
09:36 sedated, but we do respond quite a lot to the stresses
09:42 of eating, if we eat to much that's going to put excessive
09:46 stress on us, if we use a lot of sugar, that also puts a lot
09:51 of stress on us, fats put stress on us, now these kinds of
09:55 stresses are not psychological, they are bio-chemical stresses,
09:59 they are just as real, just as important to us and the
10:03 total process of dealing with stresses, just a important to us
10:07 as those external stresses that come through the mind
10:10 or that come to us as a whole person so pay attention
10:14 to those.
10:15 Now another thing is alcohol and tobacco, if we use alcohol
10:20 and tobacco we can be certain that when the effect of these
10:24 first sedatives and then stimulants that you are going to
10:29 be in stimulated portion at some time.
10:31 Tobacco first has a little stimulatory phase and then a
10:39 stress phase then a relax phase and then a stress phase again,
10:44 so it's stress, relax, stress, so it goes in that way.
10:48 You may have noticed when you took that first smoke,
10:52 that first puff, the first time you ever smoked, you immediately
10:57 had a sense of nausea, that's because of the immediate stress
11:03 portion of the tobacco response, but eventually you are going to
11:09 have that stress again, and so what you need to do is leave
11:14 off tobacco, alcohol, caffeinated beverages and
11:18 all of those and maintain a very healthy body weight.
11:21 Now to maintain a healthy body weight is also something
11:26 really easy to do if you just want one thing that will
11:31 help you to loose weight, cut out the free fats, that's
11:35 margarine, mayonnaise, fried foods, cooking fats, salad oils,
11:38 and even nut butters until you are of a proper weight.
11:41 If you will do that and have two meals a day nothing
11:44 in between meals, I can almost guarantee that you will be of
11:48 normal weight eventually depending on how much you
11:52 weigh at the beginning.
11:54 So I hope that these things can help you to know how food
11:58 is involved.
11:59 Now Dr. Miller has another very interesting part, I'm going to
12:05 let him tell you what it is, it has to do with your
12:10 - Ok! I'm going to give you two things right now dealing with
12:14 stress which are vitally important, if you remember
12:16 these two things besides the thing I have already said about
12:19 exercise neutralizing stress, you are going to find a whole
12:22 new way of looking at stress, one is goals and expectations.
12:27 We all set goals in our lives, I remember when I was in graduate
12:31 school a number of years ago at the University of Okalahoma
12:34 and the first test came, big test, and my goal was of course
12:38 always the goal is to Ace the test, and that was my goal.
12:43 But because the way I was, I didn't know this right then
12:47 this principle right then but I was sort of working in this area
12:50 anyway, my expectation was very low, I want to get an A but
12:56 I bet I failed this test, and I remember the day they passed
12:59 the test back, I'm sitting there whimpering almost and the guy
13:03 next to me, they passed the test out, he looks at mine first
13:06 he says what's your problem? He passes the test to me,
13:08 I had gotten a 98, now had I set my goals extremely high
13:13 and gotten a 70 and I was expecting to get an A
13:18 and I got a 70, I would have been crushed, but as it was
13:22 I was really happy when I saw the fact that I had got a good
13:25 grade on my test.
13:26 So the goals and expectation are very important.
13:29 Some time ago I was traveling I was down in Florida going
13:32 back up to Alabama to Uchee Pines and while I was gone they
13:36 were working on a project building a house that I was some
13:40 day going to occupy and my goal was that by the time I got back
13:45 certain things would be done but I had learned while I was
13:49 in Florida taking a seminar on stress, that if you set your
13:53 goals really high and you don't meet the goals it's going to
13:56 cause stress.
13:57 So my goal was a conscious goal, we are to set high goals,
14:01 you should have high goals for yourself, my goal was
14:04 that it would be almost done but my expectation was,
14:08 I shot really low, they didn't even get to it, I was gone for
14:11 a week they didn't even have time to get to it, and so when
14:14 I walked into the house, when I saw that they put in a couple
14:17 of windows and started some insulation, I was unbelievably
14:23 Now if I had kept my expectations, my goals where
14:27 the were with no low expectations I would have been
14:30 greatly disappointed, we need to do that in our lives,
14:34 set your high goals but realize that you are not going to attain
14:38 all your high goals, everyone is not going to love you so
14:41 when someone doesn't love you don't be crushed by it because
14:43 your expectation is people are people, and humans are humans,
14:48 and it's not going to work that way.
14:49 That was the first great thing I want to give you,
14:54 now here is the second one, it's how we process our stress
14:59 Stress comes in two flavors, we can have distress and
15:04 we can have eustress, distress is the negative type
15:07 of stress, eustress is the positive kind of stress,
15:10 now I will tell you this that all stress can be harmful.
15:14 I heard about a woman one time she had won some big lottery
15:18 and it was one of those things that they drive up to the door
15:20 knock on her door and she opens the door and say:
15:22 "You just won this big prize," and you think that would be
15:28 wonderful, great, you think that would be eustress but she
15:32 passed out and she died, she died of a coronary because of
15:35 this unbelievable amount of good news, and bad news both could
15:38 have the same response on the body, so the deal is how do you
15:43 process the stressful situation?
15:45 It's not so much that you have stress, because if you have
15:49 stress you are going to have a reaction to the stress.
15:52 I was in a hotel not long ago and I try to go to bed at an
15:57 early hour, I was in bed probably before ten o'clock,
16:00 about one o'clock in the morning I woke up because the person
16:04 on the other side of the wall had their television on
16:07 pretty loud and I could hear everything going on in there.
16:09 Now my typical reaction to this is what's wrong with this person
16:15 why don't they turn down their TV, bang on the wall,
16:17 call the desk, do something, but instead of doing this
16:21 I processed it through some- thing else and this is what
16:25 it is, I lay there in bed I say the person is really lonely
16:29 I'm so thankful I'm not so lonely, then I say well maybe
16:33 the person is really in a jet lag, they just came from the
16:35 other side of the world and they can't sleep.
16:38 I've been there and I know what it's like, so they are watching
16:41 the television or maybe they are anxious about something,
16:44 or they've had some great sorrow or tragedy in their lives
16:47 and this is the only way they can block out the pain because
16:50 whatever it was that they are playing, I heard a lot of
16:52 laughter from the television so they just needed to be
16:55 overjoyed or encouraged so as I processed it through the
17:00 filter of this person has a problem, my stress went away
17:05 and I found my reaction was praying for the person
17:08 in the next room.
17:09 Another situation, I was traveling one time, I had taken
17:14 someone to the airport in Atlanta, turned around and
17:17 heading back to Uchee Pines in Alabama and as you come down
17:21 the road, there is a place you can either go on down to
17:26 Interstate 85 or take 285 up to the west side of Atlanta,
17:31 and for some reason I turned north on 285 and immediately
17:36 the stress response was there, you fool why did you do this
17:40 stupid thing and I remember as soon as I started berating
17:44 myself in the stressful situation and I processed it
17:48 in a different way, I talked to the Lord I said Lord,
17:51 I realize that when we get to heaven you are going to show us
17:55 all the reasons why things went wrong in our lives and sometimes
17:59 there a great blessing but I say just once I'd like to see
18:02 this happening in my life, I would like to know why I do
18:05 these stupid things, I took the next exit crossed over,
18:08 got right back on, went down 285, as soon as I got on 85
18:13 a man let a hitch hiker out and the Lord says,
18:16 "That's the reason."
18:17 The reason why I took the exit wrong was because God had
18:21 something planned for me, a few minutes later had I been on
18:25 down the road I would have missed this opportunity and I
18:28 picked up this hitch hiker and we had the most wonderful
18:31 conversation, I took him all the way to the city that he
18:33 was going, way past my exit, and was able to talk to him
18:36 about the Lord, and by the time we got done with this particular
18:40 trip, he said you know I was coming down here to do thus
18:45 and such but I think I need to go back home again and get
18:47 back with the Lord.
18:48 So my distress was turned to eustress because I learned how
18:53 to process it through a better way.
18:55 A number of years ago you might remember an airplane crashed
18:59 upon taking off from Miami into the Everglades and after
19:03 that happened you hear about a number of stories about people
19:06 who had not made their flight that morning,
19:09 one man in particular, he was on the way to the airport,
19:12 he wanted to make this flight, I think it was going to
19:14 Birmingham or maybe Nashville and on the way to the flight
19:19 he got a flat tire, the guy was completely stressed out.
19:23 Now had he known these principles he could have said
19:25 there is a reason for this flat tire and I'm not going to allow
19:28 the stress to become distress, I'm going to say Lord there is
19:32 something in this, well he missed his flight and then when
19:35 he heard on the radio a short time later that his flight
19:37 that he missed because of his flat tire, completely buried
19:41 itself in the Everglades, he now had a new way to process
19:46 his stress.
19:47 Driving down the road, how many times did this happen to you
19:50 you are driving down the highway and someone cuts you off
19:53 immediately your reaction is Urrr! you get angry,
19:57 you want to sit there and pass them and cut them off perhaps,
20:01 you are not that far in your Christian walk, or whatever
20:04 it might be, but I have this happen quite often.
20:07 I've learned how to process it differently now and here is
20:11 the way I process it, one way it could be well,
20:14 it's a little old lady, and it could be my mother,
20:16 let her do it, put someone that you love in that car
20:20 you are going to find that you react to it a little bit
20:23 differently, or they just didn't see me they don't know
20:26 what they are doing, or they are in a hurry, they are
20:29 stressed out this morning, back off and let them go,
20:31 but another one that really helps me is how many times
20:35 have I done that stupid thing so what I do, I will pray
20:39 for the person up there.
20:41 Sometimes if they go speeding by me and cut me off and keep
20:44 on speeding I turn it into eustress by saying he's going
20:48 to run interference for me and he will get the ticket
20:50 by the highway patrolman parked up there and I'll be able to
20:53 drive right on by smiling in my eustress.
20:55 So there's a way to process stress that will help us not
20:59 to make it so damaging to the body because when we get into
21:02 stress situations if we handle it wrong it suppresses our
21:05 immune system, it weakens our whole body, it sets us up for
21:09 diseases and we don't need diseases, we need to let the
21:12 Lord tell us Dr. Thrash, this is happening for a good reason
21:17 and I'll take care of you in it.
21:18 - Very good! Now I also hope Brother Miller that you
21:24 apologize to the Lord for calling yourself a fool
21:27 because that makes you have stress when you think bad things
21:31 about yourself, that makes you have the kind of stress that is
21:37 best not to have, it's difficult to process that kind of stress.
21:42 So as you make mistakes realize that that is the lot of human
21:48 beings and we're going to make some mistakes.
21:51 Now there are treatment things that we can do for the symptoms
21:55 that we get from stress and I have a number of these I'd like
21:58 to just go over with you, one is that for a person who is
22:02 really suffering with their stresses try using some ways
22:07 of handling sleep difficulties.
22:10 If you have insomnia there are several things you know to do
22:12 one is exercise, so for stress you exercise, you also know
22:18 that if you have a comfortable bed this can help you to deal
22:23 with a sleep problem, it will also help you with a stress
22:26 problem, if you have some herbs that you take for sleep
22:30 they will also help you with stress problems and some of the
22:35 herbs that I like to use for sleep are Catnip, Hops,
22:40 Skullcap, Valerian Root, and St. John's Wort.
22:45 Now St. John's Wort is probably my favorite prescription for
22:49 people who have a sleep problem, if they will make their
22:56 St. John's Wort just a one time a day dose instead of
23:02 all through the day it will help them greatly with their
23:06 Sometimes people who have stresses they take
23:09 St. John's Wort for depression all the through the day,
23:12 that's fine, but if it's just sleep just take it at night.
23:16 The next group of things to do is that that has do with
23:22 anti-inflammation, since we become inflamed with the stress
23:28 process then a neutral bath or a hot bath can be very
23:32 helpful to dissipate inflammation, again there are
23:36 some anti-inflammatory herbs one of those is flax seed
23:40 and flax seed oil, two tablespoons of freshly ground
23:45 flax and that should be freshly ground because if it's ground
23:49 and stored for awhile, the storing of the flax causes the
23:53 rather tender fat of flax to make some changes that are not
23:58 so helpful, so you need to take it while it is very fresh.
24:02 Then some sedative herbs, sedative herbs are a little
24:07 different from the sleep herbs in that they are sometimes
24:10 milder, but catnip is probably my favorite set of the sedative
24:14 herbs I like that very much, but you can also use Lobelia
24:19 in small doses, that's very good for it's sedative factor.
24:27 Valerian root is also very good in small quantities can be
24:31 nicely beneficial there.
24:33 For the depression we mentioned St. John's Wort, that is a very
24:37 good one for stress, for the depression that comes in stress
24:43 but you can also use a number of others: Kava is a very
24:48 good one, sometimes some like Couch Grass can be used,
24:53 and Marshmallow Root, that can be used, it's very good for
24:59 Now those things that are good for the brain, since the problem
25:04 with stresses is largely a nervous system problem then
25:08 anything that can improve the functioning of the brain would
25:12 certainly be helpful in stress.
25:14 Let me mention just Evening Primrose Oil, very good for the
25:19 brain, but especially good is Ginkgo, now if you have read
25:24 some reports in the medical literature that Ginkgo is not
25:28 effective, you can forget those because Ginkgo is effective
25:32 and medical doctors are not usually capable of setting up
25:37 a very well designed program or project for examining an
25:44 herb, they should let those who are agriculturists and
25:48 horticulturists and herbalists be the ones who set up those
25:52 kinds of projects because most of us who are medical doctors
25:56 don't really understand herbs well enough to be able to
26:01 make a good report, or a good project on the testing of herbs.
26:05 So feel free to use Ginkgo, it is non toxic you can use it
26:10 nicely it is used for a number of different kinds of things.
26:15 Now I mentioned for you the non-stress foods, there are
26:21 a number of those, largely they are vegetarian foods, the people
26:25 who are vegetarians tend even as national vegetarians,
26:31 they tend to be more calm than people who eat a lot of
26:35 heavy spices, especially hot and irritating spices, irritating
26:40 vinegars and a lot of animal products, but in countries
26:44 where animal products are used very little and the diet is
26:49 largely composed of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts,
26:53 and seeds, in these countries and in these families tend to be
26:57 more calm than in families or in countries where they tend to
27:03 eat a stimulatory and inflammatory diet.
27:07 Don't forget that there are a number of beverages that are
27:10 inflammatory and stimulatory these include all the brown
27:14 drinks coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate they are naturally
27:18 stimulatory, they also have some anti-physical properties
27:24 that make them so that they deteriorate the physical health
27:28 such as increasing our risk for getting cancer and
27:31 increasing our risk for certain mental disorders.
27:34 Now in dealing with the matter of stress bear in mind that it
27:39 is self limited, when the Lord comes, and He's coming soon
27:43 our stresses will be all done, we will then just have a happy
27:48 experience of going home to be with our lovely Savior until
27:55 we have fulfilled all eternity.