S.A.D.

Standard American Day

Years from now the 21st century will be remembered as the century of “stress”.

Everyone is “stressed out”.

There are many types of stress; emotional, mental, metabolic and physiological stress to name a few. Some stress is healthy. It helps us adapt and become more resilient.

In the wild, stress keeps animals alert to danger. Stress allows them to respond quickly and efficiently so they don’t end up as someone else’s dinner. When there is danger, the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system (the fight-flight system) releases massive amounts of cortisol, the stress hormone, that enables the individual to immediately respond to the danger. Once the danger is over, the parasympathetic side of the autonomic nervous system kicks in and repairs all the collateral damage that occurred as a result of the individual fighting (or running) for their life.

Our ancestors experienced stress when a saber-tooth tiger jumped out of the woods to eat them, or the neighboring tribe attacked, or there was a famine. In today’s modern society, the “tiger” is chasing us 24/7. Sleep deprivation, conflicts, and drama with employees, employers, clients, consuming processed foods, exposure to environmental toxins, kids and money issues, all contribute to constant high sympathetic tone and high cortisol levels.

Studies have shown spikes in cortisol in response to watching negative programming on television, movies, internet, and news. Violent programming contributes to A.N.T.s, also known as automatic negative thoughts. This results in sustained elevated sympathetic tone and high cortisol levels!

Persistently elevated cortisol leads to inflammation which is the underlying cause of all disease.

Animals not only experience stresses from environmental toxins, processed food diets (kibble food and can food) and lifestyle, but they also entrain (take into their bodies) their families stress. Our beautiful fur angels pick up our stress while providing an endless source of unconditional love!

Dr. Marlene Siegel

www.pascovet.com