These reactions are triggered by emotions within milliseconds, ahead of your conscious awareness.
Laughter is known to release tensions, but does not come easily in a tense situation.
Cough CPR is a disputed method for dealing with heart attacks. But, it is similar to pumping your stomach.
Stomach pumping is a simple mechanical response, which stills a visceral reaction and can help you cope with minor irritations in life.
Each Visceral Reaction Damages Your System While the threats may be small, each visceral reaction harms your system.Adrenalin increases to prepare your body for a fight or flight response. Your heart beats increase to improve blood supply. Blood pressure rises and breathing changes. Acidity increases in the stomach. Your excretory system prepares to clear toxin. Your endocrine system produces the adrenal hormone cortisol.
Excess production of cortisol leads to blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems. Excess cortisol also causes damage to your immune system, arteries, and brain cells, and cause premature aging. Evidently, a simple exercise which can mitigate the impact of a visceral response can be immensely useful.
Damage In The Blink Of An Eye A visceral reaction occurs quickly, before you become aware of it. Paul Ekman, the famous emotions scientist, reported "We become aware a quarter, or half second after the emotion begins. I do not choose to have an emotion, to become afraid, or to become angry. I am suddenly angry. I can usually figure out later what someone did that caused the emotion." The nervous system processes all the available information and drives you to anger, or despair, within just half a second. Each visceral response occurs before you know it. Nature also provided laughter to counter this response.
Laughter Releases Tension Laughter is often triggered by a sudden release of tension. It works to subdue the visceral reaction. The door opens slowly in a dark room. As you wait with baited breath, a kitten walks in. You laugh. The system relaxes. During the middle ages, it was the court jester, who tried to lift the monarch out of an angry or melancholic mood. There is much recent evidence that laughter aids emotional well being and health. A belly laugh is said to result in muscle relaxation. The process is aerobic, providing a workout for the diaphragm, which reduces the effects of the visceral reaction.
But Laughter Does Not Come Easily Unfortunately, a belly laugh is not the normal reaction to a stressful situation. Laughter is not easy, when a visceral reaction causes you to seethe in anger, or sweat in fear. But, if you practice self awareness, you can become aware that an emotion has taken over. This requires some practice. In Buddhist meditation, a person observes his/her thoughts. When you watch your thoughts, you will become familiar with your outbursts of anger, or moods of despair. Awareness is the first step to quell the effects of the visceral reaction.
The Doubtful Outcome Of “Cough CPR” At a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology, Dr. Tadeusz Petelenz advocated a procedure to save the lives of people having a type of heart attack brought on by rapid and erratic heart beat. He suggested coughing vigorously until an ambulance arrived. The technique, called cough CPR, forced blood to the brain, while the heart was beginning to fail, keeping patients conscious long enough to call for help. Other experts said the concept was provocative, but unproven and doubted whether it had much practical value. Coughing, while having a heart attack, does sound risky. But, the muscle movements can be more gently replicated, without the strain of a vigorous cough, to quiet the effects of a visceral reaction.
An Exercise To Dissipate Adrenaline The muscle movements involved in coughing also dissipates adrenaline. At the first sign of an uneasy emotion, you can pump your stomach. Repeatedly expel air by tightening stomach muscles close to the pelvic area. Stomach pumping helps spread the adrenaline in the system and subdue that tension. It is a practice with endless benefits. When you pump your stomach, the muscles that do not participate in the process, relax. After you finish pumping, those muscles involved also begin to relax. So, the action takes place in two stages. Both beneficial.
Stomach Pumping Works Laughter is not easy. But pumping your stomach is simple and it has the same physical effect. With habit, stomach pumping can be a simple, built in response to the visceral reaction. The process is aerobic, providing a workout for the diaphragm. The workout reduces the hormones associated with the stress response. A decrease in stress hormones relieves constricted blood vessels and supports immune activity. It is a practice with endless benefits. With habit, it can be a simple, built in response to minor stress. All that is needed is an awareness of minor turmoil, which can be followed by this simple mechanical response.
You Will Forget The Stressful Stimulus With stomach pumping, tensions disappear moments after a visceral reaction. With subdued visceral responses, memories of the original stress stimulus disappear. A delayed flight fails to spoil the day. The story of the dismissal of a colleague, or of a traffic accident has less impact. Such habitual dissipation slowly erases the usual knee-jerk anxieties and their corrosive effects. Deeper stillness follows. The only price demanded for such peace is an independent awareness of your barely perceptible anxieties. Do not allow those visceral reactions to color your viewpoints. Even if you may not laugh in the face of minor irritations, stomach pumping will make you more calm and ready to face them.