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STRESS

Humans have dealt with stress while becoming highly adaptive to it their entire existence.  The circumstances causing most stress have changed over the eons becoming quite different for humans today than in the past.

In the earliest days stress for homo sapiens was intermittent and relatively short lived. If a dangerous wild animal came into the encampment, for instance, humans would go into stress mode and either fight the animal off or run away.  Either reaction was relatively short lived both in terms of time and in what happened to their physiology. When the event was over, people would return to normal living habits.

The hormones cortisol and norepinephrine are released at times of stress to cause metabolic changes in our bodies that enable us to deal with stress in real time by causing rapid changes in blood circulation, breathing and heart rate while at the same time allowing our bodies to withstand things they would not be able to otherwise.

Today we often have stress in our lives for far, far longer periods of time than our ancestors.  Working at jobs is probably the number one cause of stress for most.  Even things like driving through Bay Area rush hour traffic or having your cell phone ring often throughout the day cause the stress response to take place.  Certainly if you make the mistake of watching too much cable TV news, you'll create for yourself a type of continuous stress...especially if you linger at one channel for too long.

For some stress has become a chronic and sometimes almost continuous condition which leads to the development of serious cumulative physiological issues.  Cortisol and norepinephrine are released, but not just in a burst intended to deal with an immediate stress.  They are released for hours thus becoming problematic for our health.

In the long run, stress is without doubt the number one condition underlying most chronic and debilitating health problems.

SCIENCE: HOW IT DEALS WITH STRESS

Western medicine quantifies everything entirely from testable evidence.  In that way, it understands there to be two systems...the nervous and endocrine systems...controlling all body reactions, including responses to stress.  Due to this understanding, the majority of western drugs change how our autonomic nervous system behaves.

Emotions obviously influence our experience of stress and our physiology.  Love and connection are thought to be the most important emotional states in mitigating the effects of stress.  Depression and anger are deemed most damaging in the long run.

In recent years pharmacology has spent a lot of effort making drugs that control neurotransmitters in the brain so as to affect the root of the entire nervous system instead of just the autonomic nervous system.  

Just recently I was made aware of research, by way of watching a TED video, which shows taking SSRI's (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) for long periods of time actually changes people's capacity for "long term love", at least in the way science views love in terms of it being a physiological adaptation for survival.

In ancient Greece they defined many different types of love, each being known by a different word.  In our western scientifically based way of understanding phenomena, there are three types of love controlled by our physiology...each type needed for the continuation of our species to survive.  At least that's the way science sees it.

The first type of love is "lust" which is thought to be triggered by pheromones released into air and by the hormone testosterone in both sexes.  This is understood to be what makes sure humans procreate.  It's the sex drive.  And you get a nice reward for the effort...both in attaining orgasm and the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain.  Humans have physically adapted over millions of years, according to science, specifically to have sex...a lot of sex...a lot of the time.

The second type of love is "connection" and understood as being chemically induced primarily by the hormone oxytocin which causes global changes in the neurotransmitter soup in the brain.  Oxytocin causes us to feel closeness and connection. This is understood to be the reason parents fall in love with their offspring, which is necessary for the survival of infants.  It is also believed to be the driving force that keeps parents together during pregnancies.

The third type of love is "committed" which is seen as being primarily controlled in the long term by the neurotransmitter serotonin.  This is believed to be necessary, in terms of survival, so that parents stay together long enough to see the child through to adulthood before they get totally sick to death of each other.  Serotonin causes us to feel encouraged and accepting.

The first two types of "love" are scientifically viewed as temporary phenomena that have a relatively short half-life, while the third type is for the long term...even for life.

It turns out that taking an antidepressant that plays around with serotonin levels for too long, changes this third type of love...it doesn't persist.  And that was the bottom line point of the presenter in that TED video I saw.  She believes, due to her own scientific research, that taking SSRIs for longer than short term (a few months at most) is harmful to the ability to maintain committed, loving relationships.

All very interesting to be sure, but all so very scientific!  To scientists all love can be explained through chemicals being produced by us.

THINGS OLDER THAN SCIENCE THAT DEAL WITH STRESS (thank goodness)

Then there are non-drug methods of dealing with stress.  And these ways of dealing with stress aren't all explained by release of hormones and neurotransmitters or the need to survive.

Qi Gong and meditation are two of the very best practices you can cultivate to counter the effects of stress, in my opinion, based on personal experience.

Qi Gong combines breath with very slow, specific and purposeful movement to gather and collect Qi from the fog of Qi that surrounds us always...then bring it into us through the three Dantian Centers:

Lower Dantian (下丹田, Xia Dantian): below the navel (about three finger widths below and two finger widths behind the navel), also called "the golden chamber" is associated with cultivating life energy (qi) with vital essence or sexual energy (jing).

Middle Dantian (中丹田, Zhong Dantian): at the level of the heart, associated with storing life energy (qi) and with respiration and health of the internal organs, in particular the thymus gland.

Upper Dantian (上丹田, Shang Dantian): at the forehead between the eyebrows or third eye, associated with the energy of consciousness and spirit (shen) and with the pineal gland and the lower Dantian.

Meditation stops the internal voice so that, instead of broadcasting outward, you quiet yourself completely and receive inward from consciousness that surrounds us and infuses and animates everything.

I'd like to know from you:  What things cause stress in your life and what do you do to deal with or diffuse stress for yourself?  I really want to know about all the things you all do for yourselves to deal with stress.



What stresses you out and what do you do to release it?


I'm listening.

~~~

Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Below the Fold



COMMUNITY BUILDING UPDATES:
Let's build communities!

Every region needs a meat-space community like SFKossacks.
We take care of each other in real life.
I urge YOU to take the lead and organize one in your region.
Please tell us about it if you do and we're here for advice.

~
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY

:: EVENT REPORTING ::
:: Current Diaries in Planning Mode ::
DC/VA/MD meetup, Oct. 13th by JamieG from Md
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ALERT!

NASHVILLE IS CURRENTLY ORGANIZING DEBATE WATCH PARTIES: See this diary, HEY NASHVILLE! Who wants to have a debate watch party? by Patrick is Lucky to vote for dates and sign up.

For a permanent place in Nashville events Kosmail ZenTrainer, founder of Nashville KosKats.

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ALERT!

BALTIMORE IS CURRENTLY ORGANIZING DEBATE WATCH PARTIES: See this diary, Next Baltimore Kossack meetup by sreeizzle2012.

To join Maryland Kos send sreeizzle2012 a Kosmail.

:: Regions Organizing! ::
NEW GROUPS IN THE PROCESS OF ORGANIZING:

Portland, Oregon Area:  Kosmail: Horace Boothroyd III to be included in the group.

Cleveland and Northeast Ohio Area:  Kosmail: GenXangster

~~~
These are the groups that have started since * NEW DAY * began. Please Kosmail navajo if you have started a group before that.
NEW GROUPS LIST:

California Central Valley Kossacks - Organizer: tgypsy

New England Kossacks
Organizers:
Clytemnestra (Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island)
Common Sense Mainer (Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont)

Houston Area Kossacks - Organizer: Chrislove

Kossacks in India - Organizer: chandu

CenTex Kossacks - Organizer: papa monzano
Current diary: Meet-up Planning Take 1

Central Ohio Kossacks - Organizer: VetGrl

~~~
ESTABLISHED GROUPS LIST: (List will grow as we discover them)

SFKossacks Founded by navajo, Formed: May 2, 2005, More than 80 members

Maryland Kos Founded by timmyc, Formed: Feb 23, 2011, More than 54 members

New York City Founded by Eddie C, More than 58 members

Baja Arizona Kossacks Founded by buddabelly, Formed: Feb. 13. 2011, 90 members

Three Star Kossacks Founded by maryKK, Formed: Apr 8, 2011, 46 members

Nashville KosKats Founded by ZenTrainer, Formed: Jan 30, 2012, 28 members

Virginia Kos Founded by JamieG from Md, Formed: May 3, 2011, 67 members

•  Kos Georgia Founded by pat208, Formed: Feb 13, 2011, 18 members

~~~
:: Events Currently on the Books for ALL Kossacks ::
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Monday, October 1st
NYC MEET-UP

TIME: 6:30 PM
LOCATION: The Three Monkeys
236 W 54th St
., between Broadway and 8th Ave.
(212) 586-2080
UP ON THE DECK!

ORGANIZER: Sidnora

Send Sidnora a Kosmail to RSVP.

RSVPs:
1. sidnora
2. plf515
3. clenchner
4. Cherry the Tart
5. Laura Clawson
6. Arjun Jaikumar
7. It's the Supreme Court, Stupid
8. blue jersey mom
9. rubyr
10. MBNYC
11. Ian Reifowitz
12. kathny
13. kathny's friend
14. kathny's friend
15. artebella
16. Belinda Ridgewood
17. joanbrooker

Maybes:
casperr
Torta
mconvente
Rosalie907
buffie
ask
Errol

Latest diary about this event: Monday, October 1, NYC Kossacks Meetup on the Deck!
~~~

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Wednesday, October 3rd

SFKossacks watch the Presidential Debate Party

TIME: 5:00 PM Pacific
LOCATION: Lusty's house
San Jose, Cambrian area
(address will be given to RSVPs by Kosmail)

ORGANIZER: Lusty - Send a Kosmail to RSVP.

Potluck Style Snacks
RSVPs:
1. Lusty [Assorted drinks and PIE!]
2. Glen the Plumber
3. remembrance and The Little One
4. navajo (maybe, if I can get a designated driver...) ;)
5.

~~~
PhotobucketWe are San Francisco Bay Area residents concerned about the fading away of the American Dream.  Inspired by Van Jones's "Rebuild the Dream" campaign, we organize to bring people together to work toward getting our economy back on track and restore the American Dream.

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Wednesday, October 10th

Save Our State Rally

MC: Cindy Chavez ~ Executive Director, Working Partnerships USA


Speakers: Ash Kalra ~ San José City Council, District 2
                Shawn Bagley ~ Regional Director, CA Democratic Party
                Jennifer Thomas ~ Vice President, San José Teachers' Association
                Scott Myers-Lipton ~ Sociology Professor, SJSU
                Craig Dunkerley ~ California Clean Money Campaign

TIME: 6:00pm to 7:30 PM
LOCATION: San José City Hall Plaza
200 E. Santa Clara Street
San José, California

ORGANIZER: Dream Menders - RSVP at: Dream Menders on Facebook or Eventbrite

Latest Diary: Dream Menders: Save Our State by Glen the Plumber
Join DKos Dream Menders Group founded by Glen the Plumber

~~~

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DailyKos readers who live and/or work in New England
(Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)
100_8274
Saturday, October 13th

New England Meet-Up

TIME: 1:00 - 4:00 PM
LOCATION: Margaritas Mexican Restaurant
775 Lafayette Road
Portsmouth, New Hampshire


ORGANIZERS: Common Sense Mainer and Bill in Portland Maine - Send Common Sense Mainer an email at cuckolds04103@gmail.com to RSVP. (He prefers his email listed.)

Affirmative RSVPs thus far:
1. Common Sense Mainer
2. Bill in Portland Maine
3. Clytemnestra
4. polisigh
5. Brillig
6. Mik
7. K1
8. K2
9. Simple
10. fennster
11. commonmass
12. GreenMountainBoy02
13. Sadiesue
14. rick deville
15. bouidi08
16. bjedward
17. mayim
18. debbie in ME
19. Thestral
20. Ed Tracey
21. parsonbeach
22. Mr. parsonbeach
23. vacationland
24. sfbob
25. loreleiHi
26. cailin ard

Maybes:
1. kestrel9000
2. nhox42
3. lorelehi
4. cailin ard
5. knautical knots
6. Linda
7. paulitics
8. moody loner
9. mommyp00ka
10. jarbyus
11. DamselleFly
12. BobBlueMass
13. radical simplicity
14. Not the Username I Wanted
15. lurker
16. annieli
17. DowneastDem
18. gracielove

Latest diary about this event: New England Kossacks Meet up.
~~~
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Saturday, October 13th

Houston Area Meet-Up

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: La Mexicana Restaurant
1018 Fairview Street
Montrose


ORGANIZER: Chrislove - Send a Kosmail to RSVP.

RSVPs:
1. Chrislove
2. cosette
3. Delilah
4. disconnect the dots
5. GrannyOPhilly
6. GrannyOPhilly husband
7. jkojak67 (maybe)
8. krwheaton
9. Libby Shaw
10. miscanthus

11. Mosquito Pilot
12. nomandates
13. OrganizedCrime
14. PDiddie
15. PDiddie wife
16. suesue
17 Texdude50
18. Texdude50 partner
19. txscorp
20.

Latest diary on this event: Houston Area Kossacks: Meet-up scheduled for Saturday, October 13!
~~~

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Friday, October 19th

SFKossack Red Carpet Rollout for Dave in Northridge

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: Yank Sing
Rincon Center, 101 Spear St., San Francisco

ORGANIZER: navajo - Send a Kosmail to RSVP.

RSVP LIST:
1. Dave in Northridge
2. navajo
3. Lorikeet
4. Steveningen
5. jpmassar
6. kimoconnor
7. norm (Maybe)
8. MrNavajo
9. remembrance
10. Glen the Plumber

11. Dharmasyd
12. boatsie
13. side pocket
14. FogCityJohn
15. Kamakhya
16. Frugal Granny
17. madhaus (maybe)
18. enhydra lutris
19.
20.

~~~

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Monday, October 22nd

DAILY KOS HQ: SFKossacks watch the final Presidential Debate Party

TIME: 5:00 PM Pacific
LOCATION: Daily Kos Office
Berkeley
(address will be given to RSVPs by Kosmail)
5 min. walk from Ashby BART

ORGANIZERS: Markos and navajo - Send a Kosmail to RSVP.

RSVP LIST:
1. Markos
2. Susan Gardner
3. Kaili Joy Gray
4. Faith Gardner
5. Will Rockafellow
6. Meteor Blades
7. navajo
8. citisven
9. Glen the Plumber
10. jotter
11. kimoconnor
12. jpmassar
13. norm
14. precinct1233
15. Ebby
16. lineatus
17. ceebee7
18. Dharmasyd
19. madhaus
20. [anonymous]
21. [anonymous]
22. remembrance (maybe)
23. paradise50 (maybe)
24. Jeff in CA
25. Kamakhya

26. side pocket
27. Mary Rickles
28. mwk
29. boatsie
30. shanikka
31. shanikka's DAH
32. mber
33. Cathie
34. The Awful Truth
35. Lorikeet
36. dksbook
37. mr. dksbook
38. The dksbook's SIL
39. Pluto (maybe)
40. cooper888
41. GotMooned
42. Raven Brooks
43. Navi Ganancial
44. Melissa
45. means are the ends
46. Isara
47. Isara's partner
48. AoT
49.
50.

~~~

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DailyKos readers who live and/or work in New England
(Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)

TENTATIVE DATE: Sunday, November 11th
New England Kossacks MEET-UP

TIME: 1:30pm - 4:30pm
LOCATION: The People's Pub
24 Federal St
Greenfield, MA 01301
(413) 773-0333

ORGANIZER: Send Clytemnestra a Kosmail to RSVP.

We will be collecting donations for the Native American Netroots project Okiciyap at this Meet Up.

RSVPs:
1. Clytemnestra
2. Remembering Jello

Maybes:
1. annieli

Latest diary: New England Kossacks - November Meet Up

~~~

Saturday, November 10th
Northern California Central Valley Kossacks Potluck Lunch

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: Kestrel's home
There will also be a pre-meet up birding adventure at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area.

ORGANIZERS: tgypsy and Kestrel - Send tygypsy a Kosmail to RSVP.

RSVPs:
1. tygypsy
2. Kestrel
3. Sally Cat
4. Mr. Cat

~~~

Send navajo a kosmail if you post a diary about an event so we can update our round-up.

~~~
Okay. Floor's open.
Tell us what you are doing on this NEW DAY?


Originally posted to Connect! Unite! Act! on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 07:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by SFKossacks and Central Valley Kossacks.

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