New Castle News

Columns

February 29, 2012

Lori Brothers: Keeping your cool promotes good health

NEW CASTLE — Stop the poison!

If you have a tendency to get angry, go ballistic, rant and rave, there is a good probability that you have adrenaline and cortisol overload. This is a toxic cocktail that downloads when you react, wreaking havoc on all of your systems.

Each time you react you are poisoning yourself. This becomes damaging to your systems if this pattern is chronic.

Last week, I had to test my own choice-making skills. I had the pleasure of being a guest again on Jameson’s Tuesday morning radio show, “Health Talk.”  That sometimes-steak-eating Ken Hlebovy is a real gem.

To make the 8:35 a.m. showtime, I merged into the early morning commute and was instantly thrown off my timing. Within a short travel distance I realized the traffic was going to make me late. Since I was heading to be on a live show, I had to make a choice. How am I going to react to this slow-moving, repeated school-bus-stopping congestion?  The panic was setting in.

I found myself having to get clear. Was I going to start shouting and shaking my fist at the little school children, “get on the bus faster little kids!” I was aware that this choice would poison my systems with stress hormones, not to mention, disturbing my peace and calm.

It is possible to make a decision to act otherwise. I could have popped in my “When Hell Freezes Over” CD by the Eagles. Instead, I decided to call the Jameson marketing assistant Mary Ann Marino. I needed her to laugh with me about this predicament.

With her slapstick humor, she began recounting a tale about waiting at the bus stop when she was a kid. We both remembered a time when kids congregated at one location to catch the bus, so there were fewer stops. We laughed and decided that kids were probably thinner back then because we got more exercise. (I must note, I realize and support that kids who live on the busy highway deserve to be picked up in front of their house for safety reasons.)

I made it to the show much calmer because Mary Ann gave me the right connections — laughter, plus the phone number to call ahead to say I would be cutting it close.

I made it 10 seconds before air time!

Diverting my attention and getting some support allowed me to be “proactive” instead of “reactive” to my situation. I kept my blood pressure and heart rate down. I produced feel-good hormones, i.e., endorphins,  instead of toxic ones. Thanks Mary Ann, and everyone else involved.

Knowing how and when to support yourself is very important action that only you can create. If you have regular life situations that can send you skyrocketing, it is time to also know that you can choose differently and stop the poison.

Certain ranting and raving episodes are unavoidable. In the course of being human, sometimes you just can’t control what is happening. That can send you over the edge, especially if it is something that you are sensitive about, or have a very low tolerance for.

But the name of the game for positively affecting your health is building tolerance and knowing your safety nets.

That morning helped me appreciate my work schedule. You see, I tend to work late mornings, into evenings. This schedule keeps me clear of regular traffic patterns that many with a more-traditional work routine are challenged to contend with.

 You can access Jameson’s Health Talk archives at www.Jamesonhealth.org.

 

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