How Stress and Anxiety Kills Us

Our body is wonderfully made.

It has multiple, complex mechanisms to keep us up and running.

There is a process to eliminate substances which the body does not need. There’s a system so we don’t have to consciously tell our heart to beat, or our lungs to inhale and exhale. And we have an amazing “control center” to continually monitor and course correct if something is out of balance.

We don’t even notice these systems when they’re working.

Stress and anxiety can change all of this. All is well, so to speak, until it isn’t well anymore.

When we talk about stress, we usually think of the emotional kind.

You may be unhappy with a relationship. Or you hate your job. Maybe you have too much on your plate and you feel overwhelmed. Are the kids driving you crazy? Dealing with massive lifestyle changes due to a worldwide pandemic? 

Emotional stress is a perception based upon your brain and the brain waves you are producing.

But there is also stress that can come from your body – without any emotional components!

Woman working at a computer, looking stressed and anxious.

Tight muscles, the misalignment of the spine, or problems in any movable part of your body. There is the internal imbalance caused by issues like constipation or a sinus infection. Perhaps your nutrition isn’t good or you need to take therapeutic levels of vitamins. Or maybe your brain chemistry is out of balance and now you feel wired, tired and depressed.

These are all sources of stress on your body.

The good thing is that in our “human earth suit,” we have a built-in, automatic stress response system to protect us from threats.

It’s called the “fight or flight response.”

Here’s how it worked when we were all just starting to walk the earth.

There’s a very hungry tiger on the horizon.

Your brain says “Oh no! He thinks I am his dinner. I need to either run and get safe, or fight for my life and hope I am victorious!” 

Your body either gets you out of danger, fights off the tiger or you get eaten. It all takes place very quickly.

This system is designed for that quick response and it’s intended to be turned on for that short time. Just enough to get you out of danger.

Then the system should turn off. That is how the body is designed. But our modern experience is that we are constantly bombarded by potential “flight or fight” situations:

  • Traffic.
  • News about threats (which our brain still thinks could hurt us, even if it’s far from us).
  • Work deadlines.
Traffic causing stress and anxiety

We then suffer from an overload of stress which may then lead to anxiety because the “off button” never gets pressed.

The brain didn’t have the chance or wasn’t able to send the “all clear” message to turn the emergency response system off.

You stay stuck in the “run or fight the tiger” response and over time the body begins to break down.


This can cause terrible problems and potentially fatal diseases. The body was not designed to withstand continual stress over a prolonged period.

For some people, the stress response actually started in the uterus! As you reach adulthood the body could lose its adaptability and now you have a big health mess that robs you of your joy and vitality.

There are many diseases that have been strongly linked to stress:

  • Angina
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Common cold
  • Depression 
  • Diabetes – Adult Onset
  • Headaches
  • Hypertension
  • Immune suppression
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Premenstrual tension syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Ulcers

Anxiety can grow when we’re unable to deal with and release our stress.

It’s not that easy to let go of though. When you are in the throes of a stress response, especially when you are dealing with anxiety, if someone told you to relax, stop worrying, do you “just do it?”

Can you say, “Gee….I never thought of that! Thanks! I will stop now!”

Of course not!

You get frustrated, because if you could stop or control it you would!

Stress and anxiety literally keeps you captive. And it changes your body chemistry which then changes things like your blood pressure, your ability to sleep restfully at night, blood sugar, even your weight.

If you are trapped in the hamster wheel of anxiety in particular, there are tests that can check to see what may be the underlying cause.

  • Is it an imbalanced brain producing too much beta brain wave?
  • Are the adrenal glands over-producing cortisol?
  • Is the nervous system stuck in the “fight or flight mode?”

Once the cause is identified, then you can tackle the treatment.

Should you take medications? Those that are often prescribed are really “hard core drugs” and hard to get off of once you start down that road.

AND they don’t FIX the underlying problem!

Let’s fix the body, not drug it into submission.

If you’re dealing with stress and anxiety, let’s talk about figuring out if this is a physical response, an emotional response or something environmental. Then we can work on strategies that can get you out of fight or flight and into a healther, calmer state of body and mind.

Image of a very calm relaxed still lake.

Medical Disclaimer:

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and has been compiled from years of practice, study and experience by Mikell Suzanne Parsons, DC. This information is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for the advice from your physician or any other health care provider, or any information contained in or on any product label or packaging. Do not use information in this post for diagnosing or treating any health problem or disease. Always speak to your health care provider before taking any nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement. If you have or suspect that you have a health problem including the coronavirus, contact your health care provider immediately. Do not ignore seeking health care advice or delay seeking care because of something that you have read in this post. Information provided in this article DOES NOT create a doctor-patient relationship between you and Mikell Suzanne Parsons, DC. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Full Disclosure:  If you happen to purchase anything I recommend in this or any of my communications, it is possible that I will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. I only recommend people and programs I believe in and feel that you will get tremendous value from. However, if you ever have an issue with something I recommended please let me know.

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Dr. Mikell Suzanne Parsons is a doctor of Chiropractic, a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition and Neurology. Currently she is founder of the Natural Path Health Center in Fresno, California where she continues to specialize in chiropractic, nutrition and chiropractic neurology. Visit The Natural Path Center website –

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Dr. Mikell Parsons, D.C.