Category Archives: cortisol

Guarding the temple of your soul

A few days ago I saw a front page headline in our local newspaper: “Trump opposes gun control.” It got me thinking: If I was living in the United States, it would maybe have been of interest to me. In this case it was just another example of the media setting the agenda for the day’s mood.

Motivational Quote That Will Inspire You to Be Successful. Words that inspire your heart, motivate your mind in life, creating success, achieving your goals, and overcoming your fears.Don’t get me wrong. The mass shooting in Las Vegas was a terrible tragedy. But the event has absolutely no impact on the daily lives of people living some 9,000 kilometers away and doesn’t belong on the front page of  my local newspaper. The media is feeding us constantly with blood and gore and the shadow side of humanity, knowing that its human nature to look first at the negative before seeing the positive.

Its part of our reptilian brain, our instinctive behavior and survival instinct to stay alert in case a tiger comes crashing through the woods. But in today’s globalized world of mass media, the constant feeding of the subconscious mind with negativity has an extremely detrimental effect on our health.

Stress, triggered by negative news, negative emotions and toxic thoughts, affects your immune system. When you read negative news and your mind is occupied with negativity, you release a stress hormone called cortisol. Prolonged exposure to cortisol leads to damage to the hippocampus part of the brain, causing in extreme cases anxiety attacks, depression or other mental illness.

This is why its so important to stand guard at the gateway to your subconscious mind. What do you feed your mind with before you go to bed? The worst thing you can do is to watch a horror movie or the evening news. It will program the way you dream and in what mood you wake up the next morning. Reading a spiritual text or listening to soothing music will have the opposite effect.

It takes constant training to shield the mind from negativity. But the more aware you become through mindfulness training the more effective you will become in empowering that guard at your doorway. I’m practising all the time.  Its not easy. Being a former newsman myself, I have to be more circumspect than most others not to fall prey to the tentacles of the mass media.

You create your reality with your thoughts!

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Feeling stressed out?

Mankind is living in its best era yet, experiencing better health, peace and higher standard of living than all generations before. So why do so many people suffer from stress and chronic fatigue?  Has the “comfortable” life made us less resilient? Other generations experienced war, famine, disease and all sorts of challenges that we do not have to deal with.

Businessman pushing hard against falling deck of domino tilesMy take on this is that stress is not really the problem but that a host of factors come into play, especially the lack of recuperation in today’s fast track world. Here are some tips to make you more resilient in riding the storm during those tough times. We cannot avoid stress. It is part of life, but we can learn to deal with stressful situations differently.

 

  • Body movement: When you are under stress your body is flooded with a stress hormone called cortisol. The more cortisol in your system, the more your adrenal glands on the kidneys become fatigued. Try body arts that relax you both mentally and physically and bring your entire body metabolism into balance. Yoga, taiji, qi gong, pilates and meditation are ancient proven methods that work. But even a gentle walk in nature and jogging at a gentle pace will help bring down your stress level.
  • Eating good foods:  Too much sugar and salts in processed foods is wreaking havoc in your body. White sugars rob the body of phosphates which are vitally important in almost every intra-cellular reaction. Too much salt interferes with the natural absorption of water in the body, causing constipation, accumulation of toxins and higher blood pressure. You can’t go wrong with a good mixture of fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit. The supplement spirulina is loaded with beta carotene, iron, magnesium and other trace materials which your body really needs during times of stress.
  • Healing rituals: When everything around us appears to be in disarray or collapse a ritual can restore balance and sense of belonging and connection. It could be a religious prayer, the lighting of a candle, a meditation or any other regularly performed daily action at a certain time or place of the day. Rituals have been part of human life and social interaction since the dawn of mankind but we seem to have forgotten the significance of them in the rat-race of modern times.
  • Friends and family: A typical symptom of burnout caused by stress is the withdrawal from social interaction. We are social animals and need to talk and interact with our fellow human beings, who give us important feedback, empathy, sense of meaning and comfort. Sharing and volunteering your help for a non-profit organisation, church, neighborhood initiative or any other group that serves a higher purpose often brings you “back to earth”.

If you can learn to ride the storm, change can positively enrich your life in many ways. The challenge lies in dealing with those defining moments of transition from a position of strength and power. During tough times we more than ever need time for recuperation, a time out and activities or hobbies that take the mind away from obsessive worry.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

http://www.reinogevers.com

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Do you have a weight issue?

Fat lazy guy on the couch  Every third person on earth has a weight problem. Its a pandemic that is causing major health problems for individuals, societies and the economic future of many countries.

The data released recently by the New England Journal of Medicine  is particularly alarming because it shows a major increase in obesity among children. A diet of mainly processed foods with a high sugar content coupled with a mainly sedentary lifestyle spent behind the steering wheel of a car or on an office chair are cited as major reasons for being overweight.

The other factor is that our fast-paced Western lifestyle is flooding our bodies with stress hormones that stimulate the building up of fat reserves in the lower belly. In previous generations humans were stressed by the fear of suffering from drought or famine, which is why the stress hormone cortisol is designed to tell the body: “Alert: Store fat because hard times are coming.”

How do you determine whether you are overweight? Take your body length. Lets say 176 cm, divide that by half which is 88 cm. Your belly at the height of your navel should therefore not measure more than 88 cm.

Why should you watch your weight? Obesity is the major cause of cardiovascular disease, diabetes II and a host of skeletal problems. The fat tissue in your lower belly is creating pressure on all your body organs which increases your blood pressure and the danger of suffering a stroke. Obesity also affects our mental state of mind, our self-image, self-esteem, vitality, libido and most of all your longevity.

Motivate yourself by writing down at least three major reasons why you want to live a long and healthy life!

So what do I do to reduce weight? Don’t postpone action. Start today by clearing your fridge and kitchen cabinet from all processed foods. Educate yourself on a low-carb diet. Try and avoid completely all sugars. Start exercising by at least taking brisk walks during the day. Best download an app on your smart phone so that you can monitor yourself by taking at least 10,000 steps a day. Try sticking to that plan rigidly for at least 40 days and you will notice a significant improvement.

If you want to kick-start your vitality and health check out my my online course: Awakening the Fire Within – key principles of health and success. Enrolling now will give you a 25 per cent discount.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

http://www.reinogevers.com

NEW RELEASE: “Walking on Edge – A Pilgrimage to Santiago” available both in Kindle and paperback.

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How important is your health?

Most personal bankruptcies in the United States are directly linked to a health issue. I have seen so many good friends, leaders and experts in their fields hitting a wall with a life-threatening disease in the prime of their lives.

Comical chubby guy not sticking to his diet

This doesn’t come overnight. In most cases poor or good health is directly linked to lifestyle choices.

Less than ten per cent of major health issues are triggered by fate such as accidents or hereditary factors.

When asked, most people will tell you their health is very important. Asked what they are doing to stay healthy, the question gets a little more difficult to answer.

The truth is that bad lifestyle habits such as poor nutrition and lack of exercise are seeing diseases such as diabetes, cancer, obesity and mental illnesses such as depression skyrocketing in all of the industrialised countries.

I have myself been on the brink of burnout, overburdened by work demands and relationship issues, so I know what I’m talking about. Poor health doesn’t come overnight. Its a slow degenerative process that sets in when you stop looking after yourself and external demands or distractions start controlling your life.

So, its become my passion, my personal mission to tell people what they can do, to lead a much healthier and happier life.

I firmly believe that it all starts from within. Do you love and respect yourself? What is your self image. Your body will reflect what is going on inside you. Facial expressions and body posture can be telling. What mental and physical clutter are you carrying around with you? How do you deal with stress? Are you following your soul purpose? These are questions that need to be answered before you start a diet and it is the main reason why most weight-reduction and exercise programmes fail.

In the many workshops and trainings I have done with people at all levels in the corporate world, the issue its not the lack of awareness. All of us have heard and read about these things. But there is a huge gap between awareness and taking concrete action. I’ve given this a lot of thought. Why do people avoid action when it comes to the most important aspect in their lives with personal health literally affecting every facet of life.

One reason is that you don’t see the effect of bad lifestyle habits immediately. If I told you that drinking that sugar-laced “energy drink” is a poison that will kill you in the next few hours, you wouldn’t touch it. Toxic foods and negative mental distractions are all around us. Its become a huge challenge of our time to avoid these and to focus our mind on positive thoughts.

To have a healthy body metabolism you need a walk of between five and eight kilometres per day. Most people don’t even manage two in walking from the house to the car and from the car to the office. The compound effect – good or bad is what does it.

I have gleaned and finetuned from my workshops what I believe are the key principles of good health. I have put all this together in a seven-part online course with a clear positive habit forming plan to set you up for a much healthier lifestyle. You can check it out here and watch a free video preview

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

http://www.reinogevers.com

Get my free E-Booklet “Resilience: What makes us strong”.

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Creating health to prevent disease

We are getting older but many of us are getting older with loss in quality of life as our health starts deteriorating because of poor lifestyle management – the topic of my Blog last week.

We have to go back a little in history to understand why most of us have fallen prey to the fallacy that illness is fate and that we have no control over our health. Western medicine is based on the 19th century concept of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) that certain types of bacteria invade the body, causing infectious disease. Pasteur’s concept that disease had to be fought like a war with antibiotics, like penicillin, gave birth to today’s multi-trillion dollar antibiotics industry.

Pasteur achieved fame and fortune as the father of penicillin. Few people today remember a person called Antoine Béchamp (1816-1908)  a vigorous opponent of Pasteur. He argued that health on the cellular level is mainly determined by the biological terrain, such as the level of acidity (pH level), the electric charge, level of toxicity and the nutritional state. While Pasteur was being supported by the pharmaceutical industry Bechamp, the other great germ scientist at the time, even had his work placed on an index of prohibited books and died in obscurity.

Simply put: Béchamp was convinced that we have to create health in order to prevent disease while Pasteur was all about creating defensive walls to prevent “alien exterior agents” from entering the body.

Free happy woman enjoying nature sunset

With more and more infectious diseases becoming resistant to antibiotics and an explosion of diseases like diabetes II and cancer its worth taking a look again at the biological terrain. Another great scientist Dr. Otto Warburg, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1931, took up much of Bechamp’s theories, arguing that basically all disease, especially cancer, feed on an acidic environment.

So what is the real problem here?

Our body should have an alkaline environemnt with a pH value higher than 7.0, anything below that is considered acidic. And, most of us living on a Western diet have an acidic body because of the processed foods we eat with too much sugar and other additives that our body cannot digest.It is compounded by the high-stress levels we have to deal with in today’s fast-paced economic environment. Stress hormones like adrenaline, nodrenaline and cortisol add to an acidic environment. While under stress, our breathing is too shallow, providing our lungs with too little oxygen to supply our cells with the oxygen they need to detox.

The other big detox organ is our skin but it cannot do its job adequately because we use soaps, perfumes, shampoos and shaving creams filled with toxins including microplastics and crude oil.

As our inner terrain becomes more acidic our body’s defensive walls start to break down creating an environment for unwanted guests. In Chinese medicine health is defined as having the right balance with disease being a symptom of many things running out of control. Initial symptoms might be a series of colds and flus, headaches and allergies. Later this might be followed by loss of vitality, chronic fatigue and a more serious illness.

Interestingly,  Pasteur was quoted  on his deathbed as saying  to Professor A. Rénon who looked after him: ‘Bernard avait raison. Le germe n’est rien, c’est le terrain qui est tout.’ (‘Bernard was right. The microbe is nothing, the soil is everything.’).” He was referring to his other contemporary Claude Bernard.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

http://www.reinogevers.com

Get my free E-Booklet “Resilience: What makes us strong”.

 

 

 

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Why you need to take a break

IMG_1197With work pressure increasing in practically all sectors its not uncommen for people to remain stuck at their desk for hours and taking their “lunch” while tapping away at the computer or taking a call. On the long term this is wreaking havoc on concentration levels, health and productivity.

Under stress your sympathetic nervous system is on alert flooding your body with stress hormones that accelerate your heart beat, increase your blood pressure, dilate your pupils and inhibit other body functions like your digestion. At some stage however the calming side of your body, the parasympathetic nervous system, will want to reduce the arousal system, bringing everything back into balance and tiredness creeping in. Its a natural body reaction that you can’t control.

We need a good balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system – between the arousal and recuperation phases.

Research has indicated that most concentration levels start sinking rapidly after about 50 minutes of uninterrupted work on a computer. At the latest after 70 minutes your parasympathetic nervous system will start taking over. This is the time to take a short 5-10 minute break. And a break is only really a break if you interrupt your work and do something completely different, like opening a window, taking a deep breath, looking at the bird in the tree across the road or chatting to a colleague.

If you have an office job you will have spent some 80,000 hours of your lifetime in a sitting position until you reach retirement age. This is an enormous strain on your back, neck, skeletal and body alignment system. Interrupting your work for 15-20 minutes a day to do some active stretching movements, will work wonders for your health, your mood and your concentration and work ability.

Pushing your break of say half an hour until the end of the work day practically has no recuperation effect. Regular shorter breaks after every hour are far more effective. Taking a power nap of between 15-20 minutes in the early afternoon works very well for some people. It should however not be longer as you then fall into the deep-sleep mode and will wake up more fatigued.

If you have had days, weeks or months of high stress, your body will very likely have high cortisol levels. It means vital organs in your body are being undernourished because your body is in a “fight or flight” mode. You need recuperation, a time out, to bring those stress hormones back to normal. Best you choose a place where you can lock away your cell phone and focus your mind on anything else but work. Check out also our outdoor coaching programmes.

Reino Gevers, coach, trainer, author

PowerBodyMind – Gevers Consulting

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

 

 

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Reconnecting with nature – 8 point health plan

IMG_2264Constant emotional stress is extremely harmful, especially over an extended period of time. The result: Our body is on permanent alert  with many body functions more or less in standby-mode.

We are naturally programmed to react to perceived dangerous situations with our bodies being put on alert by such hormones as adrenaline and cortisol that increase heartbeat  and blood pressure, in turn triggering flight or fight responses.

When the threat has passed these stress hormones are supposed to return to normal levels so that all body organs can resume their normal functions.  In our modern world that is often not the case because we are not taking time-out for exercise, good nutrition, breaks etc. An over-exposure to the main stress hormone cortisol can lead to a host of health problems including high blood pressure, the risk of heart attack, an immune-system breakdown, anxiety, mood changes and weight gain. An excellent way of getting those cortisol levels down is by taking a time-out in nature.

We come from and are part of nature. Living in cramped, noisy and stressful big city environments is only a recent phenomenon in human evolution. Re-atuning our senses of hearing, smell and touch by taking a walk in a park or forest can be of enormous benefit in winding down from the onslaught of external stressors.

Take a real break by leaving the office desk and taking a 15-20 minute walk. Awaken your senses to the sounds of nature. You can stop by giving all your attention to just one pleasant sound of nature: a bird singing, the rushing of a stream or fountain. Try and inhale the smell of a blooming flower or wild herbs next to a path. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin or a gust of cool air.

The benefit of all this: Our immediate environment is responsible for stress increase or reduction. It influences our immune, endocrine and nervous systems. Numerous research concludes that positive nature experience reduces anxiety, fear, lowers blood pressure and has a positive influence on the heart beat and muscle pressure and especially helps to bring down those cortisol levels.

Reino Gevers – consultant, coach, author

http://www.powerbodymind.de

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