Truth for Healthy Living's Article

The Root Cause of and Relief for the Unhealthy Byproducts of Chronic, Unnecessary, Hidden and So Most Dangerous Stress -- Diagramed In the Human Biopsychosocial Process

Key elements of the comprehensive theoretical model that does much to explain human behavior, emotions and moods, many physical illnesses and how to protect and improve health

Earlier versions (Stress Master was one) of this Web site's freely-accessed and still-evolving nonfiction book, Stress and Moods Mastery, focus on helping you to heal the exceedingly unhealthy results of prolonged obvious and most especially hidden, subconscious, stress. Those results include strong fears, ongoing anxiety, injured self-esteem, addiction, depression, anger, and some of the most common and serious physical illnesses.


In the past 10 years, the biopsychosocial threat, hidden stress, has gained recognition as real and important in popular and academic literature. The 1990 internationally published nonfiction book, Stress Master, was the first text to expose human chronic hidden stress. Its author's published research (Clinical Laboratory Management Association Review, 1993) was the first to suggest a significant causal relationship between the dangerous stress many people have and understandably don't realize they do and their injured self-esteem that's also hidden from them. When we have that injured secret self-esteem and lack needed confidence, we almost constantly make subconscious honest mistakes. We have quick-interpretive thoughts that alert us to false threats and so create chronic needless stress that over time will disable and kill us.


Anyone who knows about how animals and humans respond to threats realizes that they don't only fight or take flight (fight-or-flight). They also hide. Uncovering human chronic hidden stress and having a test for it may have allowed recognizing depression (in a sense, chronic hiding) as a common emotional byproduct of stress.


Stress and Moods Mastery fits with what health care clinicians and health educators recognize as accurate regarding human physiology and psychology. This diagram illustrates.

1. That circular process diagramed above begins with external influences. They include:

    where you are (physical surroundings, temperature, sounds, light, etc.),

    who you are with,

    what’s said and done by others, 

    your observable behavior. Note: Both pain and pleasure are among a person's potentially observable (by self and others) behaviors. Evidence that's true is that what's pain to be avoided for one person may be pleasurable and desirable for another.


2. There are so many possible external influences and their intensities vary so much that only a few of them can make it through your physical senses and into your awareness.  Important: Once something is in your conscious or subconscious awareness, it’s inside you and is yours. It is your responsibility to -- as much as and when you are able -- change, delete or keep what influences you!


3. In addition to how many and the relative strength of potential external influences, a person’s beginning physical state decides what makes it further into his or her conscious and subconscious awareness and how accurately those internalized influences are perceived. Genetic predispositions and lasting conditions from earlier physical diseases and injuries also determine what makes it into awareness. Examples are autism and schizophrenia and blindness from an accident. Along with those inborn and later-acquired physical conditions, if you have alcohol or some other drug in you, that makes a difference in the accuracy of your awareness.


4. What your physical senses (sight, hearing, touch, etc.) allow you to be aware of, that’s influenced by your beginning physical state, is then filtered through your self-esteem and confidence . . . both the conscious or surface and subconscious or secret parts. Self-esteem is the affection for and value we place on ourselves. It is inaccurate, injured, to the degree we lack those. Self-confidence is how trusting we are in our ability to make sound judgments and reflects self-esteem. Some of us with subconscious injured self-esteem that's "aggressive" give the appearance of being confident when we aren't.

5. After the initial conscious and subconscious awareness, influenced by your beginning physical state, and self-esteem and confidence filtering, you have internal behavior that is interpretive thinking. You have self-talk thoughts along with imagined and remembered events that you know about. You also have quick interpretive thinking that happens so fast you don’t realize it occurs (subconscious) and understandably might be convinced it doesn’t exist.


6. Interpretive thoughts of perceived threat. The more inaccurate (injured) your self-esteem and less confident you are, the greater the likelihood you’ll inaccurately interpret as threats what you become aware of and imagine. Subconscious or secret self-esteem is by far most powerful in determining what your interpretations are and will be.


7. When you think there is, might or will be some threat to yourself, someone or something you value or think you should or must protect, that known or unknown idea ignites stress. Human stress is the internal (entirely inside you) biochemical response to your conscious and subconscious (quick) interpretive thinking that there is, might or will be some threat. That biochemical response means activation of the sympathetic nervous system.


8. The emotional byproducts of stress are fear (hike), anger (hit) and sadness (hide). Fear is primary. Sadness and anger are secondary in that they come from fear. Sadness is fear expressed by, in a sense, hiding. Anger is fear with a mean face and voice.


Note: Avoid telling this last fact to anyone more inclined to express anger. What she or he might think about it will create stress that releases more fear, expressed as even more anger.


When you’ve read more and are ready, it will be particularly helpful to remind yourself that when you are “angry” it is actually an expression of fear. Rather than asking yourself something such as, “What’s making me angry?” Ask instead, “What might I be thinking that frightens me?”


9. When stress and especially hidden stress are chronic, fear, anger and sadness become moods or mood disorders. They become depression, anxiety, persistent anger ranging from irritability to rage. Phobia, panic, guilt, blunted, and more are expressions of ongoing anxiety and depression.


10. Physical byproducts of stress can include tense muscles as well as an increased rate of breathing, altered blood flow (for instance, causing cool hands), increased blood pressure, suppressed functioning of our gastrointestinal and immune systems. The chronic presence of physical byproducts creates and contributes to serious physical problems: disability and premature death.


Note: Dr. Hans Selye, the father of the study of human stress, said,  “Stress is the body's nonspecific response to a demand placed on it.” In this model, "nonspecific" means that emotional and physical byproducts can vary from one person to the next. Since he was understandably unschooled in modern human psychology and so largely unaware of the role of subconscious thinking, he mistakenly identified some stress as being "good." He called it "eustress." Selye didn't understand, for example, that a dad or mom preparing to leave on a happy family vacation could well be igniting his or her own stress by subconsciously imagining a disaster already happening that would ruin the trip. Rather than "good" or "bad," "positive" or "negative," it's logical to think of stress as being "necessary" or "unnecessary." Acute stress is necessary and can be life-saving. Chronic hidden or subconscious stress isn't necessary and will, unless something else does it earlier, kill us.


11. Those physical byproducts too often limit, hurtfully influence our observable behaviors that are external influences. The acute and chronic emotional byproducts of stress fuel our observable behaviors that hurtfully affect society and the environment as well as our social interactions.


12. Exceedingly important: Your ongoing use of what earlier versions of it and Stress and Moods Mastery teach increases well-deserved health and happiness by more and more often allowing you to follow the part of the Human Biopsychosocial Process Diagram (above) shown in green. That biochemical response, other than stress, means activation of the parasympathetic nervous system.


It is as Dr. Albert Ellis (see his endorsement below) taught and Stress Master first applied to human stress relief. We can protect and save our lives and protect the people we love by learning how to recognize and truthfully counter mistaken thoughts that would destroy our mental and physical health, productivity, environment, and relationships.


In essence, the published research of Stress and Moods Mastery's author says that truthful responding to honestly mistaken thinking will save us through healing our subconscious self-esteem and confidence. We will no longer almost constantly create hidden stress because we unknowingly alert ourselves to threats that don't exist.


Ending note: The bodily processes that enable human reproduction illustrate and so increase our understanding of human stress -- defined in this model as biochemical sympathetic nervous system activation and mediation -- and the biochemical response other than stress or parasympathetic nervous system activation and mediation. Conscious and quick thoughts (see checkmark above) that are free of an interpretation of threat allow our parasympathetic nervous system to promote body tissue swelling, fluid excretions, acute emotional attachment, and pleasure needed for reproduction. Very rapidly continuing along the circular biopsychosocial process, external influences that include our observable behavior, pleasure, make it into awareness through our physical senses and are influenced by our beginning physical state. Whatever makes it sufficiently into our awareness is filtered though self-esteem and confidence. After that filtering, we have an interpretive thought that there is a potential threat (maybe a missed opportunity for release, rejection by a real or imagined partner or perhaps loss of a chance for procreation) that ignites necessary acute stress (sympathetic nervous system activation and mediation) yielding the byproducts of fear, expressed as urgency, along with heavier breathing, increased pulse rate and the tensing of muscles needed for reproductive release and fertilization.


Copyright 2011 Richard Terry Lovelace. All rights reserved. You have permission to reproduce materials available on this Web site for your personal and non-commercial purposes.