Mental Health & Renewing your Mind (Part 5)
What would you say if I told you that most of the disease we see in the world we live in today, are a result of our thought patterns?
Before you run away! There are medical studies to prove it! I think everyone would be easily able to agree that there is a mind-body connection? The mind body connection has been talked about for ages. And if you’ve read Part 1-4 of our Mental Wellness blogs – you’d hopefully be on the same page as us. If not, we recommend that you go read them now – before reading the rest of this blog.
This blog might feel like a biology class. But it plays a significant role in order for you to understand the rest of what I want to share.
Disclaimer: I am using the information I have obtained from Dr MK Strydom's book The Bible form a medical perspective and Medicine from a Biblical perspective. I would highly recommend that you get the book - as it's impossible to summarise the information in a few blog posts.
The enemy (Satan) knows that as long as he can control your mindset or your thought patterns, he can control you. And if he manages to keep your body in a toxic state of mind - eventually you will become sick (mentally or physically). And that's a win for his kingdom. The enemy's kingdom is built on fear, stress and anxiety. Three words very commonly known in the world we live in today. All three of them (fear, stress and anxiety) releases toxic chemicals in your brain and sends it throughout your entire body. Over time, with this being constantly pumped into your body - your body will become sick.
I think it's pretty safe to say that the greater population of the world live in or experience some sort of fear in their lives. Whether it's fear about the future, fear about finance, fear about meeting the expectations of others, fear of failure, etc. Living in long term fear, anxiety and stress has an effect on your body - and it's a destructive effect on your body!
God designed our bodies with a "fight & flight" reaction / ability. This fight & flight reaction is a survival mechanism to help us in the case of an emergency. When we face a stressful situation, our bodies automatically goes into fight & flight mode. This is an actual physical response which enables your body to use your body's resources for immediate needed physical activity to get you safe again - whether it's to run away from danger, etc. It's amazing that our bodies have this ability. It just proves yet again that God is in the detail!
Let's take a look at what physically happens in your body during the fight & flight reaction:
When we go into fight or flight mode - our bodies secretes large amounts of glucose (sugar to provide energy) and oxygen into the blood. It's then transported to the organs that are most important when coming face to face with danger. These organs and bodily systems involved are:
Energy and oxygen rich blood is sent to your brain to alert your brain about the emergency situation. Energy and oxygen is provided in order for your brain to have clear thoughts and make quick assessments and decisions regarding the dangerous situation you find yourself in.
Energy and oxygen rich blood is also sent to you major muscles (i.e. your legs and arms) - to fight off or get away from the danger you are facing.
Your heart rate increases, as your heart is working harder to provide more blood (energy and oxygen) to your body. That's why you can feel that your heart is racing when you are in a stressful situation.
Just like your heart rate increase, so will your breathing rate increase. Your windpipe (trachea) becomes wider (for real!) so that you can breathe in more air with every breath. Breathing in more air means getting more oxygen - which your brain, heart and muscles need.
The liver increase the secretion of glucose and fats into your bloodstream to provide the increased energy levels required to handle the situation.
The spleen (which acts as a blood storage unit) contracts and discharges more blood into the bloodstream.
During an fight or flight response, the body directs blood away from organs that are not needed for survival (short term). I.e. blood is directed away from your skin - and that's the reason why people turn pale / white in the face when they get a big fright. Blood is directed away from non-vital organs to provide more blood to the vital organs to ensure your survival.
To summarise: the fight or flight response puts your body on high alert. It makes you strong and enables you to react quickly - in order that you can survive the situation you're facing.