Tuesday, October 17, 2006

"Mind & Body" -> Stress And Dr. Robert Sapolsky

One of my all time favorite books on stress is "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers," by Robert Sapolsky. I think everybody sort of knows that stress is bad, but quite frankly, the subject goes very, very deep with a lot of discovery over the last 50 years.

The culprit in this act is a group of stress hormones generally called glucocorticoids--so named because they elevate blood sugar levels. Now glucocorticoids are great for a short time because they allow you that "extra burst of energy" to do whatever you need to do. However, your mind can get stuck in stress situations, and you can flood your body with too high of levels. This, in turn, turns highly distruptive to your system. Really, chronic stress looks like it may just blow your body apart.

If you have an hour, listening to Radiolab's interview with Dr. Sapolsky will be a great introduction to the principles in his book. Radiolab is really a wonderful series of programs, and while the stress program is good, many of the other programs stand up just as well.

Then reflect on Luke 12:22

22Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

Our Lord is telling us to stop worrying. As most of the references in the Bible, we are given this command for our own good. If properly applied, the principles in the Bible allows to live by our Savior's words.

And these words are for our own good.

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