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Choosing Freedom

Choosing Freedom

Peering Behind the Veil of an Unexpected Deceiver

Enticing Us Into An Addiction Mind-set

Would You Like To peer beyond the matrix of a smoothed-tongued deceiver? This familiar and patient deceiver speaks to you daily, beckoning you to run into its arms systematically and mindlessly, as a long-term trusted friend and confidant. Trusting can be extremely temping, because you have stories and experiences of the deceiver genuinely helping you in short-lived times of peril. It was, for short periods of time, a healthy relationship.

However, "it" systematically desires more and more of your trust and your focused mind-set. It would love for you to believe that it will remain your elite-trusted source of daily protection, because safety and protection is its’ greatest promise. As it whispers this lie of “safety and security” in these deeply uncertain times that we are living in, it doesn’t want you to take your eyes off of the magic trick – you must focus solely on it. And choosing to believe in it comes at a costly exchange - you must turn to it and make decisions based upon its alarming and insidious demands. It grooms and entices you to trust it above yourself, as all addictions do.

FEAR AS AN ADDICTION is the great deceiver using prolonged anxiety and stress together to form the deceptive trinity. Bring us to a place where we consider embracing them as a protective shield and relinquishing control because fear paralyzes rational thinking. And once in this fear addictive state of mind, our body can only sustain this state of emergency for so long, before it begins speaking, warning, and progressively crying out in dis-ease, living in a state in which it was never created to live.

It is tempting to allow ourselves to remain hyper-vigilant, for the sake of seeing up ahead and possibly avoiding peril; however, this is the focal-point of the magic trick. This insidious trick is used to entice us all to place our attention so trustingly and strategically into safeguarding the wellbeing of our ourselves, and our loved ones, at the devastating expense of our mental and physical health.

So, with your keen, curious and critical eye for tricks, let’s unveil the truths behind stress, fear and anxiety. This trinity is created to work for us, but it makes a devastatingly poor master.

The Sympathetic Nervous System

A brief period of stress, fear and anxiety, is a natural adaptive response to a potential threat. This condition puts your body into a heightened state of arousal, to keep you out of harm's way — your heart beats faster and your respiration increases. This helps your body prepare for action. Your Sympathetic Nervous System does this by directing energy away from non-essential functions (like the digestive and immune systems), towards functions that are essential for survival.

First, the hormone adrenaline is released from the adrenal gland. As adrenaline flows through your bloodstream, it causes several physiological changes in the body that prepare it to fight or flee. Heart rate and blood pressure are both increased. This boosts the flow of oxygenated blood to the muscles, which contract, ready for action. At the same time, the bronchial tubes dilate, increasing airflow in and out of the lungs and sending extra oxygen to the brain to improve alertness. The pupils also dilate, which allows more light to enter your eyes so you can see your surroundings more clearly. All of these responses happen quickly and involuntarily, allowing you to react rapidly to a perceived threat.

However, the human body cannot constantly live in this state of emergency, but the fear addiction mind-set demands just this and “wires” the body and the brain to stay in this emergency state, like a high-voltage wire, continuously sounding a biological alarm. When anxiety becomes chronic — as it is for an estimated 40 million Americans — it can increase your risk for a number of mental and physical health problems. If you find that you are spending a good deal of time feeling anxious, then it's imperative to take healthy steps to reduce that anxiety before it has a chance to systematically damage your health. Chronic anxiety might cause you to constantly look out for potential threats in a perpetual and constant state of fight or flight.

Anxiety Can Lead to a Number of Physical Illnesses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 85% of all disease has an emotional element with fear, stress and anxiety topping the list of cause and effect. When you're stressed, the stress hormones that prepare your body for the perceived emergency also temporarily suppress parts of your immune system, which reduces your response to pathogens and other foreign invaders.

So, if you're stressed all the time, as with chronic anxiety, you are setting yourself up for a crash in terms of your overall health. The list of stress-related health problems is long and growing longer all the time. The following is just a sample:

· Lowered immune system function

· Heightened inflammatory response (researchers found that dwelling on a stressful event can increase your levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in your body)

· Increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels

· Altered brain chemistry, blood sugar and hormone balance

· Increased risk of cancer and tumor growth rate

And, of course, we seek solutions to this heightened state of alarm within our body. One option attempted by 37 million Americans are anti-anxiety drugs.

Anti-Anxiety Drugs

1 in 8, or 37 million Americans, are on a prolonged treatment plan of taking anti-anxiety drugs. It is estimated that only one-third of people with anxiety disorders receive treatment, and the majority of that "treatment" is limited to prescription drugs. Antidepressants are now the third most common prescription medication taken by Americans, as reported by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).