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DUI and Chronic Stress

Posted by Richard Wagner | Jun 12, 2024

A DUI arrest or getting into trouble with the law is very stressful.

Stress is one of those overused words that, unfortunately, has lost its meaning. In fact, stress may have caused your current situation. 

Stress in family situations or worrying about work causes your body to produce stress hormones. Worrying causes your body to change: your heart begins to race, breathing becomes more shallow and faster, your muscles become tight and tense, and sweat begins to form. This is known as the "fight-or-flight" mode, or the sympathetic nervous system. This shows how closely your mind and body are connected. 

Many people can't control stress. In fact, most of us are unaware that our bodies are under chronic stress most of the time. Chronic low-level stress has been compared to your car idling too high for too long. After a while, this has a negative effect on your body and can lead to serious health problems. Read more about understanding the stress response

Studies have shown that chronic stress is a contributing factor to high blood pressure and raises the risk of heart attacks or strokes, inflammation, obesity, anxiety, depression, and addiction.

According to world renowned bestselling author Dr. Gabor Maté,

"Emotional stress is a major cause of physical illness, from cancer to autoimmune conditions and many other chronic diseases."

In his opinion, people who tend to repress their emotions—those who have not developed the ability to say “no” to the world's demands—those who take on more, experience more stress. It's that stress, then, according to Dr. Maté, that contributes to the onset of disease in a major way.

Stress is a physical process, and some of the most effective strategies to reduce stress responses are movement and breathing. The first step is to become aware that you are under stress. It is recommended that you focus your attention on your breath. This takes your attention away from worry or thinking.

Eckhart Tolle, in A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, underscores the importance of developing a relationship with the Now, or what is, or what is happening, the present moment. This is because, as he explains, if one's relationship with the present moment, the Now, is dysfunctional, that dysfunction will be reflected in every relationship and every situation. Make the present moment your friend. You should welcome it, no matter what disguise it wears.

The ego can never be aligned with the present moment; it resists, ignores, and devalues the present moment. The ego is consumed with the past and/or future. The ego treats the present moment as an obstacle; this is where impatience, frustration, stress, fear, and expectation arise. Life is now a set of "problems,” and you need to solve these problems before you can become happy and fulfilled. With this way of thinking, we make life into an enemy, not a friend

The goal is to transition from the fight-or-flight mode (sympathetic nervous system) to the rest-and-digest state (parasympathetic nervous system). Other activities that can help include mild exercise, walks, meditation, and setting aside your phone—things that reduce your sensory input. 

If you have been arrested for a DUI or criminal offense in California, contact Attorney Richard Wagner at (714) 721-4423

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Orange County Psychological Association

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About the Author

Richard Wagner

Attorney Profile Defense Lawyer Richard Wagner upholds and defends freedoms and liberties enshrined in our United States and California Constitutions.  “Richard was able to achieve an even better outcome for my case than what we initially thought was possible. I couldn't be more grateful to h...

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