Participants: Agatha Thrash (Host), Rhonda Clark, Don Miller
Series Code: HYTH
Program Code: HYTH000222
00:01 Hello! Stress is a normal component of life
00:06 and some people handle it well, some people
00:08 don't handle it so well.
00:10 If you would like to learn more about stress
00:12 and how you can deal with it, stay with us
00:14 I think you will enjoy our program today.
00:36 Welcome to Help Yourself to Health
00:38 with Dr. Agatha Thrash of Uchee Pines Institute,
00:42 and now here is your host Dr. Thrash.
00:45 Stress affects people in different ways,
00:51 some people take it right in stride, they are what we call
00:54 laid back people, but other people,
00:57 even a small amount of stress
00:59 just really affects them strongly.
01:03 Now how can we be those who are laid back,
01:06 who have no problem with stress?
01:09 Well let me just talk with you some about the way that
01:13 people handle stress, and also what we can do
01:16 to alleviate some of the actual diseases that we get
01:21 from having excessive stress, and also the diseases
01:26 that come on because we don't handle stress well.
01:29 Some stresses are stresses whether we handle them or not.
01:33 But, I would like for us to understand a few things
01:36 about stress that can make handling it much easier.
01:40 I order to do this I have asked my colleague
01:44 at Uchee Pines Rhonda Clark to be with me today
01:49 and Rhonda welcome to the program,
01:52 and I would like to find out what you do at Uchee Pines.
01:56 -Well I work in the Lifestyle Center
01:58 in the office doing telephone counseling with people who call
02:00 with medical questions.
02:02 - Very good, you have a qualified background for that
02:05 being an R.N., very good, you will talk with us about
02:09 something concerning stress today.
02:12 - Yes! Some of you may have heard the saying
02:16 exercise neutralizes stress, and I wanted to share
02:20 today a little bit about why that is so.
02:23 Indeed exercise is the perfect antidote for stress,
02:27 but to understand why, we need to understand
02:29 a little bit about what happens physiologically to us
02:33 as we undergo stress.
02:35 When we see of are exposed to something that elicits
02:40 a stress response to us, our body makes stress hormones
02:44 adrenaline, nor-adrenaline, are a couple of examples.
02:47 These pour into our blood stream, and they make
02:51 our muscles tense so that we have quicker reaction times,
02:55 they make our senses keener,
02:57 they suppress the digestive system so more blood and energy
03:01 can be provided to the muscular system,
03:04 and raise our blood pressure, our heart rate,
03:07 our respiratory rate, even our blood sugar elevates
03:10 to provide more fuel for muscles
03:12 This is gearing our bodies up for what you may have heard of
03:16 fight or flight.
03:17 In prolonged stress conditions another stress hormone
03:21 called cortisol is released, cortisol continues to keep
03:26 the blood sugar level elevated to continue providing
03:29 a source of fuel, but it does another interesting thing,
03:33 it makes the cells themselves resistant to insulin.
03:39 Insulin is a hormone that takes glucose into the cell
03:43 to be used for fuel, and I liken it to under an emergency
03:48 situation, gathering the resources, but then
03:51 putting the cells on rations because the body interprets this
03:55 stressor as a long haul.
03:58 If stress is prolonged, disease conditions can result,
04:04 if your constantly elevated blood pressure,
04:08 elevated blood pressure, elevated blood pressure
04:10 with stress, you can develop a chronic hypertension.
04:14 The constant levels of elevated blood sugar can lead to
04:17 diabetes, weight gain, the muscle tension leads to
04:21 chronic headaches, chronic aching and pain syndromes,
04:25 a TMJ, where the jaw muscle is tight and grinding the teeth
04:30 at night, these are things that can result.
04:32 The suppression of the digestive system can lead to ulcers,
04:36 constipation, or chronic conditions of the abdomen.
04:41 So why then this exercise so effective,
04:46 exercise is the perfect neutralizer of stress,
04:50 because it does the very thing that the body has been
04:55 gearing up to do.
04:57 The body has been gearing up to fight or to escape the stressor,
05:02 both of which are physically active responses.
05:06 When we have a normal stress reaction,
05:10 something frightens us, or gives us stress,
05:13 these stress hormones come into our body into our
05:17 blood stream, as we have the opportunity to escape
05:20 or get away from the stressor, these hormones are burned off
05:23 and we return to a normal state.
05:26 In chronic stress, we have the stressor but we get hung up
05:32 in this cycle, we have more of these hormones pumping in
05:35 constantly, constantly, with no relief,
05:38 exercise brings the relief, when we exercise our body
05:44 undergoes the same physiological conditions it does
05:47 under stress, with exercise our heart rate goes up
05:50 our blood pressure goes up, our respiratory rate goes up,
05:53 our blood sugar is elevated temporarily for the purpose of
05:57 helping us burn it off.
05:59 Our senses are keener, our muscles react more quickly,
06:02 exercise begins that same cycle, but brings it around
06:07 to completion.
06:09 When we exercise, we burn off those stress hormones
06:13 we burn off that extra blood sugar, and bring our body
06:16 back down to a normal state.
06:18 If we exercise regularly we begin to condition our body
06:23 to respond better to stress, to more easily recover
06:27 from stressors.
06:28 This is why exercise is such a perfect antidote to stress,
06:32 not only after exercise you may have noticed that you feel warm
06:36 and relaxed, you have a clear mind, in addition
06:39 to just helping to get relief a good exercise session
06:42 helps you sweat, which helps relieve waste from the body
06:46 time spent out exercising, can be time that you commune
06:49 with the Lord, or process through things that are giving
06:52 you stress, so for many reasons exercise is the perfect
06:55 antidote for stress Dr. Thrash, and I appreciate the opportunity
06:58 to share that with you today.
06:59 - Yes it's a very needed thing, and people need to understand
07:04 that exercise can indeed neutralize stress.
07:08 I have another colleague who has made a study of stress
07:13 and he will talk with you about some of those things
07:16 that can really help you with the stress process,
07:20 that is Dr. Don Miller, thank you for being
07:23 on the program today, and you are going to talk with us
07:26 something about attitudes.
07:28 - Attitudes has a lot to do with stress,
07:30 and the best way to talk about it is to give you
07:32 basically some of my own case histories.
07:35 You have a thing called stress, Rhonda just talked about stress
07:40 Dr. Thrash just talked about stress, we are surrounded
07:45 by things called stressors, it's our reaction
07:49 to the stressor, that causes us stress.
07:52 There are some things that don't bother other people
07:55 and so it doesn't cause them stress,
07:57 let me just give you one example to begin with.
08:00 I was in the Marine Corp for many years,
08:02 got out and moved to a farm in Missouri,
08:04 outside my second story bedroom window there was a large
08:09 cedar tree, now I don't know what it was doing in that tree,
08:12 it sounded like it was in that tree,
08:14 it might have not been in that tree, but out there
08:16 somewhere in the darkness was a Whip-poor-will.
08:19 This Whip-poor-will had a constant call,
08:23 you know what they sound like, it would do that non-stop
08:28 for hours, that caused me unbelievable stress
08:31 because I like it dark, quiet, cool and neat it my bedroom.
08:35 That bird drove me crazy, it was causing me lots of stress,
08:39 and that went on for some weeks.
08:42 One day I received in the mail a magazine,
08:46 I was living in Missouri, they've got a magazine for
08:48 everyone who lives in Missouri called
08:50 The Missouri Conservationist,
08:51 in that magazine, was an article about that very bird
08:56 giving me the stress outside my window
08:58 and one of the things it said in this article
09:00 is that the Whip-poor-will in one night eats more mosquitoes
09:05 than a purple martin does, in a lifetime.
09:08 Stress was gone, because there is nothing worse to me
09:12 than that buzzz sound at night time, with the mosquitoes
09:15 flying by your ear, and so as soon as I changed my attitude
09:20 about that bird, it kept on singing that same song,
09:23 it would sing it as non-stop, it would sing it just as loud,
09:28 it would sing it every night, it never again caused me the
09:32 problem, my mind was changed, now that was not so much
09:36 a voluntary thing, that happened from reading.
09:39 But after learning this principle...
09:40 I was in a hotel one time, late at night, I am asleep
09:47 I like my sleep, I like it quiet when I sleep,
09:49 in the middle of the night someone on the other side
09:53 of the wall, no more than twelve inches from my head,
09:55 clicked on the television set, loud, some show
10:00 that had a lot of laughing going on, so all you hear is
10:02 Oh, ho, ho, ho, going on, just twelve inches from my head
10:05 stress levels rising, I'm getting upset with this problem
10:09 and then I thought wait a minute, now I've got to find
10:12 a way to turn my distress, into you stress.
10:15 I've got to look what is going on in the other side of the room
10:18 from the person watching this program's stand point.
10:21 So I started putting myself in his shoes, I say ok,
10:24 maybe he's like me, he travels a lot, he just came across many
10:28 zones, he is in serious jet lag, he's laying there in bed
10:32 at 2:00, 3:00 in the morning, nothing to do,
10:35 turns on the television, to help him get through the night.
10:39 I can understand that, my stress level went down
10:41 or maybe the person in the next room has just had a
10:46 real tragedy in his life, he's in a hotel because his wife
10:49 just kicked him out, or he's had a death in the family
10:50 and he's there for the funeral, whatever it could be,
10:53 the person is having a struggle, and so the laughter,
10:56 which we realize is a great way to make yourself feel better,
10:59 is helping him over this hump in his life.
11:04 That made my stress level down to zero,
11:07 now neither of those things may have been true,
11:09 he may have just wanted to watch television in the middle
11:11 of the night, but that was ok, it was my conscious decision
11:15 to look at the problem in a different way.
11:18 So what we have to do, is when we see a stressor
11:22 and we've got them all around us, we've got to find out a way
11:25 to turn it from something that is going to hurt us,
11:27 because stress damages the body, we get in stressful
11:32 situations as Rhonda described we have a stress response
11:36 and that is good, short term stress is good for us,
11:39 it's been put into our bodies for a purpose.
11:42 I will give you another example if I may,
11:44 I was walking down the street one morning
11:46 early in the morning, out by Uchee Pines,
11:49 there is a large country road, I like to take my morning
11:52 prayer walks, and I recommend this for you.
11:54 If you wake up in the morning and you are praying,
11:56 and you are kneeling there by your bed, and you are praying
12:00 and [snore], you are back to sleep again, you wake up
12:02 an hour later, that's not so nice to fall asleep in front
12:05 of the King, and so I have a short prayer to begin with,
12:09 get dressed and then I take what I call my prayer walk.
12:12 So I am walking down the street having a good time,
12:14 it is early in the morning, it is dark, there is a house
12:17 right up ahead, and there is a fence around this house,
12:20 the fence is still there, a high fence, for a good reason,
12:24 inside the fence dwells a Rottweiler, and if you know
12:28 what a Rottweiler is, it's one of those types of dogs
12:30 that would like to eat a person like me for breakfast.
12:32 So I'm walking down the road, and I just casually glance over
12:37 they have a night light in their yard, and the gate is open
12:40 stress begins to leak in, a few more steps,
12:44 I hear the sound of both the dog running and that low
12:49 thunderous issues forth from his chest, my stress level
12:53 now is maxed out, my eyes are dilated, my blood pressure
12:56 just went up, my respiration, my heartbeat is raising,
13:00 my blood is going to my muscles, I am blanched, my digestion
13:04 has stopped, everything is ready for fight or flight,
13:06 I know I can't outrun this dog he is right there,
13:09 and I can't fight the dog, I could try but probably have a
13:13 hard time with it, so now what do you do with this stress?
13:16 Yes exercise would be good in this case, to run
13:18 but you just sit there and run just ahead of those
13:21 gaping jaws, which will finally get you.
13:23 So I try to do something else, and if you have a hard time
13:26 with stress, stressful situation,
13:27 here is what I recommend you do, you go to the Lord,
13:30 He has promised to deliver us from our problems
13:33 and so what I did with this dog is I quoted a Bible verse,
13:37 It's found in Exodus 11:7, and I paraphrased for the dog
13:42 because he didn't understand King James and so I said
13:44 the Bible says, I held up my hand and said the Bible says
13:47 an Egyptian dog shall not wag his tongue against an Israelite,
13:50 and that dog stopped right there dead in his tracks,
13:54 he just stopped right at the edge of the road,
13:55 and I just walked on by.
13:58 So when you get into these stressful situations
14:01 and we're all surrounded by them, no matter what it is
14:05 we're to go to the Lord, and say Lord I can't handle
14:07 this piece of stress, whether it's something happening
14:10 in the family, something in your environment,
14:12 take it to the Lord, and say Lord help me look at this
14:16 thing a little bit differently, if we can place ourselves
14:19 in someone else's shoes, and find out what might...
14:22 Because usually our stressors are coming from other people,
14:25 put yourself in their position and try to look at them
14:29 in a little bit different light, and I have found for myself,
14:32 it really helps.
14:33 You are driving down the road... we have this thing called
14:35 Road Rage, you've all heard about this, well work keeps you
14:40 from getting into road rage.
14:41 As you are driving down the road, and all of a sudden
14:43 this car [zoom] pulls over right in front of you,
14:45 and that usually makes your knuckles get real white
14:49 and you are wanting to say a few choice words.
14:52 But you have to look at it in a different way,
14:53 maybe this is somebody who themselves is under
14:57 great stress, or on their way to the hospital,
14:58 whatever it might be, look at them in a different way
15:02 or just back off and say Lord help that poor person.
15:05 I find that as I give these things to the Lord,
15:09 and as I quit looking at them in a negative way,
15:11 my stress is not nearly as high.
15:13 Stress makes you get older faster,
15:15 stress makes you get sicker more, stress has a lot
15:17 of problems, it wears out the forces, and Dr. Thrash
15:20 time goes fast enough as it is, I don't think we need to
15:24 make it accelerate it any by getting into
15:26 stressful situations.
15:27 - Yes, I quite agree, I think that what you have shared
15:30 is really quite good, and taking things to the Lord
15:33 may not result in a miracle for you as it did with the
15:36 stopping of the Rottweiler, but certainly taking it
15:42 to the Lord can give you through His guidance
15:45 the path that you should take, in order to avoid being stressed
15:51 by the stressor.
15:52 Let us take a look at some of the things of the nervous
15:57 system that can help us to know why this thing of stress
16:03 can have such a pervasive effect on the body.
16:07 Let's just take a look at some of the things that
16:10 we have here: The first thing is the spinal nerves,
16:14 we have all of these spinal nerves that come out
16:18 from the spinal column, and they have been traveling
16:23 through the spinal cord, which is a cross section of
16:26 which is shown here, some of these nerves are coming out from
16:30 but some are going into the spinal cord,
16:35 you can see how many of these there are,
16:37 they are throughout the body, in fact what we are seeing
16:41 here is just a mere fraction of how many there really are
16:46 in the body, then on this side, we see something else.
16:50 Here is this spinal cord, this is the mid-brain,
16:54 and here we have the spinal cord, and then we have these
16:59 ganglia that you can see here on both sides.
17:03 These have to do with the running of things,
17:08 the first ones that I showed you had to do with
17:10 motor activity, or the working of our muscles,
17:13 and the receiving of sensory impulses from the outside.
17:18 But these have to do with the running of the various organs
17:22 of the body, the pancreas, the liver, the stomach,
17:25 the colon, the small bowel, even such things as the heart
17:30 beat and respiration, all of these are under the influence
17:33 of this part of the nervous system.
17:36 So you can see why it is that so much of the body
17:39 the skeletal system, the muscles, as well as all of the
17:44 internal organs, these are all involved in the nervous system.
17:49 But the part that is the cap of it all is the brain,
17:54 here we have a most marvelous mechanism,
17:57 in fact some who have spent a lifetime studying this organ,
18:03 say that it is more complex, than the entire universe.
18:08 If it is then we can expect that one person would never
18:13 learn it all, in one lifetime.
18:15 Let's just take a look at some of the anatomy,
18:18 the function of it, and even the microscopic anatomy:
18:22 Even the gross description of this organ, is more...
18:28 we just don't know what so much of it means,
18:32 but here is one hemisphere and here is the other,
18:37 with a portion cut off from the front part.
18:41 Here is what is called the hind brain, or the cerebellum,
18:46 and the cerebellum has only to do only with, maybe only,
18:50 with the coordination of movements,
18:53 and the way that we can do a smooth movement
18:57 is under the control of the cerebellum.
19:00 Now you can see a faint shadow right here, this is what we call
19:05 the hippocampus and it has to do with... and the
19:11 thalamus, and this has to do with various parts of the
19:16 control of many of our functions like blood pressure, thoughts,
19:21 and anything that comes into the thalamus, can make
19:25 quite and important change in the way that we think.
19:30 Notice how complex the blood vessel system is,
19:34 here we have the vertebral arteries that come up to make
19:38 the vascular artery, and then we have three major branches
19:43 of this vascular artery, as it makes what is called
19:49 the Circle of Willis, not only the vertebral arteries
19:53 are involved here, but also the internal carotid arteries.
19:57 So there are four places where the Circle of Willis can get
20:03 its blood supply.
20:04 Why did the Lord give us such an elaborate way to just see
20:10 the blood supply of the brain?
20:12 Well it is because without this elaborate blood supply
20:17 we could get a serious problem by blockage of just
20:21 one of these, let's say we have one of the vertebral arteries
20:26 cut, then we still have three other ways that we can supply
20:31 blood to the Circle of Willis.
20:33 Now we also have several coverings, the meninges are here
20:39 the dura is here, it's absolutely marvelous.
20:42 But let's take a look at what is done in various areas,
20:45 Broca's area, that's this area right here, is where speech is
20:52 interpreted, but where we do speech, is with the tongue
20:57 the larynx, the lips, in this area, so we do, do speech here,
21:02 we understand what speech is about here.
21:03 Then we have the nose, the eye lid, the brow,
21:08 the fingers and the index finger is a large part
21:13 of the brain, and all these other parts, have to do with
21:17 the movement of the brain, then the sensory portion of
21:20 the brain which senses the various sensations that we
21:27 can sense from the outside world.
21:29 Many different places where we do specific things
21:33 in the brain, and the little brain cells themselves
21:39 are complex enough that we could spend probably two days
21:43 just studying the complexity of the brain cells themselves
21:49 to say nothing of the total gross anatomy of the brain,
21:55 what a wonderful thing that it is that God made mind.
22:00 So with this background of Anatomy and Physiology
22:03 let me just tell you what Dr. Hans Celia who was a
22:08 Canadian physician back in the 1940's,
22:12 did a lot of study on stress and he found a number
22:17 of disorders and conditions that were related to stress
22:22 angina, asthma, various cancers, cardio vascular disease,
22:29 auto-immune diseases, colds, depression, diabetes,
22:34 headaches, hypertension, reduced immune system function,
22:38 irritable bowel syndrome, menstrual irregularities,
22:42 pre-menstrual syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis,
22:45 ulcerative colitis, ulcers, and on and on.
22:48 There's hardly an end to the things that can be caused
22:54 by stresses, therefore if you have some kind of strange
22:57 disorder in your body, you wonder why you are having it
23:02 look at this matter of stresses in your body.
23:05 See if there are those things that you need to change your
23:09 attitude about, as Dr. Miller was saying, that
23:13 just a change in attitude can sometimes make quite
23:16 a difference in the way that you are stressed,
23:20 by a certain stressor.
23:22 Now we have learned through the years since Dr. Hans Celis
23:27 back in the 1940's first described stress,
23:31 and all of it's ramifications, we have learned a number
23:34 of things to do, one thing is the diet,
23:36 cut out the caffeine, and it's relatives, that would be coffee,
23:41 tea, colas, and chocolate.
23:44 These can intensify the reaction that you have to stress,
23:48 then alcohol, refined foods, those foods that are stimulatory
23:54 like hot spices, those should all be cut out,
23:58 if you know any food that you are allergic to,
24:00 you should cut that one out, because that can
24:02 intensify the reaction that you have to stress.
24:05 Be regular, in all your habits, go to bed on time,
24:10 get up on time, eat your meals on time,
24:12 exercise on time, go to work on time,
24:14 do as many things on a timed schedule as you can.
24:19 Now you may say, but I don't know how to handle my time,
24:23 well there are some tips that I can give you about
24:26 how to handle time: one is set your priorities
24:30 for what you can do, you can't do everything,
24:32 but there are some things that you can do
24:35 in the time that you have.
24:37 Pray for guidance, that the Lord will help you to know
24:41 what is that most important thing that you should do now
24:44 and as you do that you can set priorities through prayer.
24:49 Then organize your day, you can do that with a pen and paper
24:54 those thing that you must do they must be done today
24:57 without fail, put those things at the top of the list
25:00 and you will recognize that you will need to do those
25:03 before you go to bed.
25:05 Then you should decide what can be neglected,
25:08 there are a few things that you don't have to do today
25:12 they can be done at some later time.
25:14 Make a list of those, they have to be done,
25:17 they should be done in the next day or so perhaps,
25:19 make a list of those, but they don't have to be done today
25:22 if you get some of them done fine, but otherwise you may need
25:27 to put those off to a much later time.
25:29 If you need to hire an assistant to help you,
25:33 perhaps you need some help with housekeeping,
25:35 you seem somehow not to be able to keep your house neat
25:40 and clean and orderly, you may need an assistant.
25:43 If you get such an assistant, help them to know how
25:46 you want things done, because an assistant who does things
25:50 in a way that you don't like that may be worse than not
25:54 having an assistant at all.
25:55 You should accept the way that others interact with you,
26:01 let's say that your neighbor is always going to ignore you
26:04 at certain times, don't let that stress you out
26:07 just think about that but some of these days she will be
26:11 nice and socialable and I'll wait for that time,
26:16 an I'll work for that time but in the mean time,
26:18 I'll accept the fact that she is just not maybe very social
26:22 or maybe she just doesn't like me for some reason.
26:27 If there are some tough jobs that you have to do today
26:33 when you pick them up don't put them down before you do them,
26:37 sometimes you will pick up something,
26:39 yes I know I have to do this today, but I won't do it right
26:41 now, I'll put it down.
26:43 That's usually not the best thing, if you have to pay a bill
26:48 or you have to answer a letter, pick it up, you are already
26:51 handling it, while you are handling it, go ahead and
26:54 finish it up, and put it aside, chances are pretty good
26:58 that you will spend less time on it if you do it
27:01 when you first pick it up, then you will if you
27:04 just put it aside and hope that some later time you will do it.
27:09 Hanging up clothes is this way, take off your jacket,
27:11 hang it up, don't lay it down, because when you have to
27:15 pick it up again and hang it up, it will take longer.
27:18 Then another thing is to avoid the drowsiness of the afternoon
27:25 put some running around, maybe doing some errands
27:28 because if you start doing your letter writing at that time
27:32 it will take much longer.
27:33 So do those things that you can do on your feet
27:37 or going about and it will be very pleasant for you.
27:41 Now I hope some of these things on how to handle stresses
27:45 will be of eternal benefit to you, because it can help you
27:49 to deal with this life, and to draw closer to our Lord
27:53 may He bless you in these matters.