PAABA President’s Address – February 2012

Stay calm in the face of stress

Stay calm in the face of stress (Source: Mad Maydel via Creative Commons license)

Your poor heart.  As you sit there, reading while eating or texting or otherwise multitasking, your heart is hard at work.  It has the singular purpose of moving nutrients, oxygen and cleansing your body.  It is a muscle that contracts harder than a sprinter’s leg muscle and consistently beats about 2.5 billion times by the age of 70.

And most likely, yours is bathed in stress.  (That’s just a guess but in this industry, in this economy, it’s most likely true.)

While the nervous system deploys quickly, like an electric current, the endocrine system sends its messages through the blood, moving slower and is not retracted as much as purged.

So when your nervous system detects danger in that email message or meeting, your endocrine system immediately secretes the appropriate chemicals into the blood to prepare for the threat.  You may discover that there is no threat after all but your endocrine system has already unleashed its chemical message into the blood.  Dreading phone calls or getting angry with opposing counsel are modern day permutations of our most basic fight or flight instincts.  Amazingly, the body doesn’t understand that these are lesser threats so that, all day long, your heart is awash in chemical instructions to prepare for danger.

The best way to help your heart is to let the chemicals purge completely.  The best way to help your heart is to rest.

It might seem impossible to take a day off but you know that’s just language.  Your choices are, in fact, the only aspect of your life you control..  Biologically mandated responses evolved within the species cannot be changed.

PAABA’s running group can help trim the fat from around the heart.  Positive interactions at our CLE courses, our section meetings, events and mixers produce uplifting endorphins.  Check out our calendar for the myriad of beneficial programs, and if you have other ideas, let us know.

But only you can take care of the rest.  Now that the holidays are over, make plans to stay healthy this year.  We are nothing without our members so plan on staying with us a long, long time.

Soyeun D. Choi, President

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