Its almost the end of another semester and during this time, everything runs high: adrenaline, impatience, stress, blood pressure, anxiety and lack of sleep. Yet, it is in these times that I would encourage you, don’t get high. Though it would be a good thing to also deal with alcohol or drugs in terms of not getting high, this article will focus more on the non-stimulants that affect your state of mind and bodily functions.
What do I mean?
God in his wisdom has given us a wonderfully created body which works through the coordination of various organ systems, organs, tissues, cells and hormones. The system in charge for the production, storage and secretion of hormones is called the Endocrine system. It is made up of a network of tiny organs called glands, including the Pitutary gland, the Thyroid, the Ovaries and the Testes, among others. They coordinate and regulate growth and development, reproduction, metabolism, response to stimuli and homeostasis.
During times of stress, fear or anxiety, the body usually secretes two primary stress hormones called Cortisol and Adrenaline, and it is in reference to these hormones that the phrase “Don’t get high” is coined.
According to the website, You and your hormones. info, “Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body, including metabolism and the immune response. It also has a very important role in helping the body respond to stress.” In our built in alarm system, the body is built to execute two known functions often dubbed “Flight or Fight systems.” These functions come into play when the body detects something in our environment that causes fear or stress which activates the “flight or flight system”.
Say for example you are walking home from school and a big dog from a neighbor’s hours starts barking incessantly. Your body’s alarm system goes off and the glands are promoted through messages sent from your brain to release a surge of hormones to prepare the body for an encounter with the perceived threat. Adrenaline prepares the body by increasing heart rate, preparing the muscles for exertion, decreasing the body’s ability to feel pain (which is why a wounded person can run for a while without knowing he or she is hurt), increasing air entry to lungs and increasing blood sugar level. Cortisol when released to combat a perceived threat provides the body with increased immunity support through it anti-inflammatory properties, heights memory function, helps maintain homeostasis in the body. When the perceived threat is overcome, defeated or is no longer a threat, the body self-regulates and hormonal levels return to normal.
The problem begins when the body remains in the “flight or flight’ mode for extended periods of time. The period and the effects of the period varies from person to person but the effects are far from positive. Long periods of stress, anxiety, irritation or even depression causes the body’s flight or fight system to remain “on” even though there is no real “threat or danger.” This increases the levels of Cortisol or Adrenaline in the blood stream which can then cause a switch on the normal functions of the hormones: heightened blood pressure overtime can lead to hypertension, cognitive function can then become impaired, lowered immunity and anti-inflammatory responses thus increasing the body’s risk of developing diseases, blood sugar imbalances among other negative effects.
In light of these issues, we would do well then to heed the advice of the Bible: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 Nkjv
So here are a few ways to not get high and irritable during the remaining weeks of the semester:
- Make a timetable and stick with it
- Create a daily or weekly checklist to stay afloat of assignments or tasks
- Get regular and sufficient hours of sleep
- Lessen the amount of time spent on social media
- Have regular face to face interactions with friends
- Develop an exercise routine and stick with it
- Spend time with God in prayer and study of His word
- Talk to someone you can trust about your feelings if you feel overwhelmed
- keep a positive attitude; speak faith and not fear
Your health, is your responsibility. Don’t get high.