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Sunday, August 10, 2014

PaleoJay's Smoothie Cafe podcast #83 Stress is GOOD!!

PJSC Podcast #83  Stress is GOOD for you!

I know, we all have too MUCH stress in our lives...

Stress in our jobs, our relationships, our family life, finances- the list goes on and on- but you know, we evolved to be able to handle stress!  And when that stress is missing: our bodies really can’t adapt- for certain types of physical stress, at least, we really require it to be truly healthy.

Eustress is the term for a positive stress: Eustress, or positive stress, has the following characteristics:
Motivates, focuses energy
Is short-term
Is perceived as within our coping abilities
Feels exciting
Improves performance

In contrast, Distress, or negative stress, has the following characteristics:
Causes anxiety or concern
Can be short- or long-term
Is perceived as outside of our coping abilities
Feels unpleasant
Decreases performance
Can lead to mental and physical problems

And so, with that is mind, let’s concentrate on the type of stress we need: Eustress:

We need the stress of gravity bearing down on us!  Our bodies actually require it, and are adapted to it, to be healthy.  When the astronauts went into space, all kinds of problems developed- muscle wasting, bone atrophy- we need the stress of gravity bearing down upon us, day and night!

What other stress do we need?

We need the occasional stress of exerting our muscles at a high level! Walking a lot is expected by our bodies, as are occasional bursts of high intensity exertion (as when escaping from a sabre tooth tiger, or sprinting to spear a wooly mammoth)!

Without this occasional stress (that can be duplicated by Perfectly Paleo Exercise), our bodies deteriorate, and basically “save precious calories” by getting rid of muscle, and bone mass that appear to be unneeded!

We also need the stress of working- figuring out hard mental and physical problems to remain fully human.  Just HOW do we dig that pit to entrap that mammoth, and then how do we transport it back to the tribe?

And, speaking of the tribe: we also need the stress of dealing with that tribe- How do we deal with Yag, who is challenging our leadership role in the tribe? (translate this to the office at work)...
And how about your mate, who has always been wonderful, but is now not dealing well at all with Jag-Kotha, your brother’s spouse?

You see, it has always been complicated!

And, these interpersonal things are necessary for our health, and the health of all the human tribe.

We are social animals- we are not meant to be alone and isolated.  Ever...

We need the stress of physical exertion, occasionally- usually very mild, and sometimes quite demanding, to be healthy and happy, both mentally AND physically.

We need the stress of a natural environment, whether savannah, desert, woodland, or northland cold- we need to exist in nature. This means birdsong, many varieties of plant life, animal species different from human- we NEED this variety of Nature that God provided to us!

AND, it appears we need the stress of natural anti-toxins in plants, like anti-oxidants to keep us healthy as well.  The latest research tends to show that anti-oxidants are not really healthy, in and of themselves- they stimulate our own bodies to respond to the stress of them to overcompensate; much as exercise makes our muscles stronger- to to secrete the hormones necessary to overcompensate, and make us stronger in reaction to them.

This might seem like a fine point- but it is the main point I am making here: Our response to stress is what makes us strong. It’s in our DNA.  WE NEED STRESS- EUSTRESS, BUT STRESS IN THE RIGHT, NATURAL WAY.

Exercise naturally, in a natural environment, barefoot and without eyeglasses and other crutches like weights to overcompensate and ultimately injure our natural response to the eustress of overcompensation of effort- Perfectly Paleo Exercise!

We NEED nature herself: in whatever form she takes, we NEED it- we need to forest bathe, savannah bathe, just BE in Nature in whatever form, since we are PART of nature, and cannot exist apart from it.  As much as we pretend we are special and unique, WE also are just a part of Nature.  Outside of it, we might as well be in a straight-jacket, in an air-conditioned room, with only white noise for entertainment and company... Perfectly safe, comfortable- we should be perfectly happy!

Natural FOOD and WATER- we need the stress of those natural foods- the hunting, or at least the procuring from a local source- animals that are part of nature, grass fed in the case of ruminants- eating the food that they were intended to eat, not GMO grains that rupture their intestines and make them fat and sick, not chemical laden processed foods, loaded with corn syrup and other sugar, gluten from modified grains... Water that is NOT loaded with chlorine and fluoride and other chemicals to make it BETTER than natural, real water- Just Plain Water!!

Well, I guess I’ve kind of wandered into DISTRESS territory, the area you want to AVOID.

So, here you go: avoid the kinds of distresses like:

Processed foods
chemical water (Big City Water)
Weight Training=UNNatural Training
Living in a Big City if you can! (Far from Nature)
Especially Urban Violent Ghetto types of areas- as FAR from actual nature as you can get! No real nature, paving everywhere, humans the only species, no plant life, no good food- this is the worst of the worst scenario!
Working on a Night Shift!  (Slow suicide- really really UNnatural and unhealthy!) AND late night TV watching- really messes up your natural circadian rhytmns!!
Toxic family relationships- constant fights, drug use, late night TV and bar visits, conflict and criticisms

And so, there it is:

Stress is really good, and integral to our health and well-being- but only it is natural and short term and to be expected in our genome.

AND SO- only avoid negative stress, distress, that are UNnatural, and will destroy what you are meant to be- Man Made Stressors.

Accept and thrive on God Made Stressors, like:

Forest Bathing- just walking through a pine forest, letting the testosterone-laden pollen from the pines detox you from our plastics-estrogenic environmental poisons

Perfectly Paleo Exercise- Naturally exercising you body in the way that God Himself intended- using your own muscles as the resistance!

Anti-Oxidants- DO NOT take anti-oxidant pills, or powders or whatever potion- eat lots of natural, God made veggies!  My gosh, it’s all so simple if you think of it- eat like your Grandma did!

Sleep a LOT- at LEAST 8 hours per night!  Actually, this is an ANTI stressor-but it is that important that I put it here- SLEEP!!

Throw away your glasses, throw away your shoes!

Well I know that’s not realistic- but you should at least MINIMALIZE their use.  The LESS you wear your glasses or contacts, the better your eyes will be.

The LESS you wear your shoes, the healthier your feet, knees, back, and posture will be!!

Have a good tribe, GOOD family/people that you get along with and who support one another.

This last is incredibly important, and so often overlooked!
If you do not have a happy, vital tribal connection with a group of people that you see on a really regular basis...

YOU will not be happy, or healthy!

We are tribal, family peoples.  Without that connection, we are LOST.

No exceptions. Sorry- we are at bottom PALEO PEOPLE.


Without our tribe, we are not only doomed to a slow death...