Everyday, all of us are faced with psychological challenges. Some of the challenges may be physical in terms of a threat to bodily harm.
Whatever the challenge, our “Sympathetic Nervous System” is ready and when the challenge presents itself, our heart rate increases, our arteries contract and our blood pressure “spikes” (goes higher quickly.) We become ready for “Fight or Flight.”
However, our arteries are lined with delicate cells called the “Intima” of the artery. Like all cells, the intimal Cells need oxygen and nutrients.
When the blood pressure is high, these cells are flattened and the oxygen and nutrients passes through them to the cells of the “Media” of the artery where they feed the muscle cells which are contracting. This is Nature in action. Survival comes first and the more delicate members must pay the price. The “Intimal Cells” start to die.
Little by little they are phagocytized (eaten) by the cells of the immune system and replaced with other cells that contain cholesterol and other lipids and we have the beginning of “Atherosclerosis.” We can see the manifestations of this process in the skin as the appearance of wrinkles, as skin cells are deprived of their nutrition, and gray hairs as the hair follicles are deprived of nutrition.
We call this phenomenon: “Aging.” Almost all humans are completely unaware of the underlying pathomechanism (cause) of “Aging.”
The term “Stress” is a modern term coined in the last century.
What is “Stress?” “Stress” is nothing more than a series of “Spikes in Blood Pressure.” And, Stress accelerates aging and eventually causes arterial disease such as heart attacks and strokes.
HOW TO AVOID STRESS?
The fundamental way of avoiding stress is that of having a “Weltanschauung” (World View or Personal Philosophy.)
BODILY REACTIONS TO STRESS
This “Weltanschauung” must be such so that you see yourself as a small player in a Grand Opera. You are not the King or the Queen or even the Prince. You are one of soldiers. You will not make or break the destiny of Planet Earth or your particular Kingdom.
The vast majority of the population are totally unaware that you exist. You are important to your family and friends. With them you must be concerned.
If you are confronted with a danger, evaluate that danger and then respond. If it will not harm you or your family or friends, respond, but in a deliberate and well thought out fashion.
Do not let your Blood Pressure Spike. You may want to buy a wrist blood pressure cuff and check your responses. After a while, you will retrain yourself to have a controlled response to “Stress” and the spikes will not happen. At that point, your friends will smile at you and say: “He or She has good self- control.” It is not magic.