I am sharing today this fantastic article from Psychology Today on how to heal from chronic stress. As it asks at the bottom, “What do you want out of this life?” Do you want to be stuck in “flight or fight” mode or learn how to deal with the stresses in your life so you can heal, and feel better? The trick is in programming your brain into better thinking!
I wanted to feel better, even while I was still being cyberbullied online on the contents of stellareddy.com and the other sites that contained my name, and I was determined to push past it. I spent the past 3 years doing just that!! As this article says, you can retrain your brain and that is how I did it. You can change your mindset into whatever you want it to be!
Every day, I take a few minutes to remind myself that these past tenants are nobodies trying to become somebodies. They are trying to gain notoriety by accusing so many individuals of racism and discrimination against them and being seen as a victim. They don’t personally know the people they write about, they just pretend they do by manipulating words. Thankfully, once you get educated on the toxic traits you see in their writing, you see it clearer and can then know they are outright lying about what they claim to know.
Coming home to Newfoundland and Labrador in the Fall of 2020, leaving the place that gave me so much fear, was my first step. By this time, living in Scarborough ON was too scary for me, as random attacks were being done on people being accused of racism and I didn’t want to be another statistic. The toxic tenants knew where I lived and I would see them, and their car, around the area at times and yes, it caused me to feel paranoid that they would try something themselves. They encouraged people to come and check me out, and even shared a map of the building, making it, and me, easy to find. I had it happen when I was still working there, which played a part in why I quit.
They tried the same with lorriereddy.com, sharing my Facebook profile showing where I was living, making false claims against me once again in the content and trying to turn people in my Community here against me. They thought their words on this site would cause me more fear…By this time I caught on to their antics and it didn’t bother me, I was able to laugh at it.
This domain still exists, till July 2024, stellareddy.com is now registered to April 2025, and davidstrashin.com expires in April 2024. These sites have no content these days and are coming up with errors. 859kennedyroad.com is parked with GoDaddy till Nov 2024 and sjtomemberkevinlundy.com is up for sale in GoDaddy auctions, as it expired. Who is going to take on a domain that is personally titled in someone’s name? The rest that contained my name are gone… Eventually, all of these websites with my name will disappear but until then, I will continue to monitor them.
The next step was educating myself on the toxic traits I was seeing of gaslighting, triangulation, and manipulations of words and situations, etc… I have read so many articles, Blogs, and books on the topic, and I continue to read every day. Learning the psychology behind the actions I was seeing toxic tenants do in my name was paramount for me to gain an understanding of the situation. My doctor in Ontario started me with that, as he gave me the terms to look for! Learning about these toxic traits does help with regulating your emotions over the toxic behaviours you see.
As I would learn a term, especially gaslighting, I would then go to the many emails and documents I have received from these tenants and search for examples that showed this gaslighting in action. I have read, and reread, these documents so many times, looking for these terms in action, so I can understand better. I have some of it memorized, I read it that often. Reading these documents over and over again also had another benefit for me, as it caused the words to lose their emotional effects. I can read them now and feel nothing!
Don’t let your anxiety crush your dreams…Kick it to the curb and live your best life!
How to Heal From Chronic Stress
Chronic stress breaks down your body and creates illness and disease.
Updated January 19, 2024 | Reviewed by Kaja Perina
- Chronic stress causes flight or fight physiology, which creates symptoms, illnesses, and diseases.
- Lowering stress chemistry and increasing safety improves quality of life and allows healing.
- The focus is on gaining expertise to process stress, not “fixing it.”
Each of us has been given a profound gift – life. The meaning of life has been the focus of endless philosophical discussions ranging from life having no meaning to being connected to each other and the universe through deep spiritual bonds. However, the bigger question is what is the meaning of your life? Why are you here? What is your purpose? What do you wish this journey to be? What experiences are you looking for? In other words, what is important to you and what do you want? We all have many dreams, but we seldom attain even a fraction of them. What happened?
Here is a famous quote from Gabriel Garcia Marquez.1
It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old.
They grow old because they stop pursuing their dreams.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This is a wonderful quote except I have a different take on it.
People grow old because their dreams are crushed by anxiety.
Stress is the sum total of the obstacles we face every minute to stay alive. When your body is in a flight or fight state, the sensation is called “anxiety.” This reaction is present in every living species, but humans have language and can name it. It is challenging to achieve your dreams and experience the life you wish while feeling stressed. Your creativity and choice are compromised while you are in a survival mode; the blood flow in your brain shifts from the neocortex (thinking centers) to the limbic system (flight or fight).
The Holmes scale2, developed in the 1960s, quantifies levels of stress connected with life events. A score of 300 points or more correlates to an 80% chance of a health breakdown within 24 months. In spite of overwhelming data connecting chronic stress with illness, disease, and early mortality, we are generally taught that stress and anxiety are “psychological” issues. Nothing could be further from reality. Why does chronic stress cause mental and physical illnesses?
A close friend and I were discussing the role of stress leading to health problems. He had been dealing with an unspeakable number of challenges for several years. His stress score was 435 and then he told me that he had been diagnosed with advanced cancer a few months earlier.
We want to feel safe. In this state our body’s chemistry consists of anti-inflammatory molecules called cytokines. Fuel consumption is lowered (metabolism). There are about 80 billion neurons in your brain that communicate by molecules called neurotransmitters. When feeling safe, these molecules are calming. Hormones include dopamine (reward), serotonin (mood elevator), growth hormone, and oxytocin (social bonding). Emotions represent feelings generated by your physiological state (how the body functions) and safety creates a sense of connection, contentment, and joy. Another term describing this state is “rest and digest.” Your body must refuel, regenerate, and heal in order to sustain life and health.
When you don’t feel safe, your body goes into various levels of threat physiology (flight or fight) to optimize survival. It deals with acute threats effectively and quickly, but it doesn’t do well with unrelenting challenges. The core of chronic mental and physical disease is a sustained stressed state.3
Activated inflammatory cytokines fire up your immune system. In addition to fighting off viruses, bacteria, and other foreign materials, your own tissues are attacked.4 Neurotransmitters switch from calming to excitatory and your nervous system is hyperactive. Fuel is consumed from every cell in your body, including your brain. Chronic disease states cause physical shrinkage of your brain.5 Fortunately, it regrows as you heal.
Stress hormones include adrenaline, noradrenaline, histamines, and vasopressin, which shift your body from thinking to fleeing. This situation can be likened to driving your car down the freeway at 65 mph in second gear. It will break down more quickly than if you are cruising in 5th gear.
The driving force behind chronic mental and physical disease is sustained exposure to stress physiology. The solution lies in using approaches to increase “cues of safety.”
Sustained stress translates into threat physiology, which creates symptoms. In mainstream medicine, we are just treating symptoms instead of addressing the root cause being the interaction between your stresses and nervous system. We don’t have time to know you, understand the nature of your circumstances, or how we can help you calm down. Treating only symptoms is similar to putting out an oil well fire with a garden hose. It is no wonder that the burden of chronic disease and suffering continues to skyrocket.6 In fact, you often feel more stressed while interacting with the medical system. We introduce the concept of “dynamic healing.
Dynamic Healing is a framework that categorizes interventions that decrease exposure to threat and increase safety. The three portals are:
- Input – processing your stresses in a manner to have less impact on your nervous system
- The nervous system – there are ways to lower its reactivity
- The output – directly stimulating your body to go from stress to calming physiology.
This model organizes known research to both clinicians and patients. You can regain control of your care and create a partnership with your provider.
Why not become a “professional” at living life?
Consider the process as becoming a “professional at living life.” It is similar to acquiring any skill such as playing the piano. You must learn the basics, incorporate them into your daily life, and then continue to deepen your expertise with practice. Mastery is critical, and as they become habituated and automatic, life becomes easier to navigate.
Additionally, the power of neuroplasticity (changing your brain) is powerful and unlimited. You can program your brain in whichever direction you wish, away from unpleasant survival circuits.
Times have changed since 1962 regarding the Holmes-Rahe scale. The industrial revolution occurred only about 200 years ago. The level of daily sensory input dramatically increased. Now we are in the information revolution that began in 1980’s forcing us to process magnitudes more information.
Smart phones came online in 2007, and along with the barrage of social media, we are on a massive sensory overload. The human brain has not evolved to keep up with it. So, we have ongoing stress levels that weren’t present even several hundred years ago. It is somewhat perverse that we have so many anxiety-related problems when we have access to more physical comforts than any generation in history. One fallout is that of teen suicide, “deaths of despair,” have risen dramatically correlating with the advent of the bi-directional smart phone.7
A healing sequence
Healing happens by learning two separate skill sets effectively, dealing with adversity and nurturing joy. As you lower your time feeling stressed and increase your sense of safety, your body will regenerate and heal – mentally and physically. Your brain physically changes (neuroplasticity), pleasurable circuits strengthen, and pain (mental and physical) regions atrophy. You can reprogram your brain away from almost anything with repetition. The exciting aspect of neuroplasticity is that at some tipping point, your healing continues to build on itself and there is no limit as to what life (brain) you wish to create.
What do want out of this life? Decrease your exposure to threat physiology, increase time in safety, enjoy your life, heal, and thrive.