Science confirms "What you are thinking and feeling could be killing you."
You may not give much thought to how the way you think effects the health of your physical body, but medical science is beginning to understand the staggering effect of chronic worry on your physical health. While rampant negativity and anxiety may seem difficult to control a groundbreaking new therapy is offering hope to those who are struggling.
The chemicals of emotion which you encourage your body to produce through your thoughts effect your body profoundly. I explore the subject in my new book "21 Days of Gratitude: Being Happy in the Pursuit of Happiness."
Stress can have a seriously destructive effect on the health and vitality of your physical body. Take all the negative emotions: hate, anger, regret, disgust, etc. to make it simple we will call them all stress, because negative emotions produce stress hormones and the body usually responds in one or another of the following ways depending on the person and stimuli.
Stress hormones can:
Stop digestion in order to focus on the imminent threat
Tell the body to convert any kilojoules consumed to fat and accumulate fat around the belly. (This is considered the worst kind of fat, there is a high correlation between waist size and premature death and chronic illness.)
Direct blood flow away from the vital organs deteriorating the organ cells.
Suppresses DHEA (famed for it's youth preserving qualities.)and causing oxidation, otherwise known as aging.
Increase heart rate and release cholesterol and triglycerides into the bloodstream, increasing the risk of heart disease.
Raise the blood glucose level, particularly in those with type 2 diabetes.
Cause a hyper-vigilant state which is disruptive to sleep and the natural circadian rhythms, lack of sleep also creates a knock on effect leading to detrimental impact on health, weight-loss or recovery
Stimulate the production of IgE, proteins which cause allergic reactions.
Contribute to craving unhealthy foods, sugar, alcohol and stimulants such as caffeine, drugs and cigarettes.
Suppress the immune system, increasing susceptibility to illness, delaying recovery time and increasing the risk of cancer.
Stress hormones compete with collagen for the uptake of vitamin C, causing loose, sagging skin, tissue dysfunction and damage and susceptibility to injury. (We’ve all heard of elite athletes doing their crucial ligament on the eve of "the big game", this is most likely contributed to by stress weakening the collagen fibers in their ligaments)
Chronic stress can cause measurable changes in the brain — by increasing activity in the back brain (or Reptilian brain, which is responsible for fight or flight and survival patterns)and reducing activity in the frontal lobes, which are responsible for new thought, creative thought, finding new ideas, inspirations and solutions.
For many people it is a shocking revelation to discover that emotional stress, pain and negativity literally lead to premature-aging, weight gain, digestive dysfunction, sleep disruption, allergies, immune diseases, hormone imbalance, low immunity susceptibility to illness, addiction, life-threatening conditions and diminished ability to think creatively.
Erin's top tips for managing stress.
Choose your thoughts.
Your body does not know whether the thing which you are thinking in your mind is really happening, being imagined or being relived, and so the same chemicals are released by the Hypothalamus to produce the emotional response even when you are visualising a stressful scenario. You have a choice on where and to what degree of precision and care you direct the powerful energy of your focus, so use it to your advantage.
Keep a Gratitude journal.
Gratitude is a simple yet effective practice. Simply stated it is the act of listing recalling and milking positive, blissful feeling, toe-curling, butterflies-in-the-tummy-inducing memories of the best of that which your life experience has graciously yielded you. You will find yourself more patient, optimistic, calm , happy, relaxed and more pleasant to be around. It is not happy people who are grateful, but grateful people who are happy. Try 21 Days of Gratitude.
Get a handle on your negative beliefs and painful past.
Our beliefs are often the product of what I like to call "key traumatic events." and can taint even the most positive scenario in stress-inducing worries. Healing your painful past helps make room for more positive thoughts, optimistic beliefs and happier feelings. I recommend Kinesiolgy Balancing .
Finding and following your Life's Purpose.
Despite the negative effects of chronic stress some stress is, in fact, useful, and a part of life. It is what has driven us and evolved us from single-celled organisms into the beings we are today. Some stress however is wasted on the trivial or immovable and is wasting the most important thing you will ever have: the wellbeing of you. You're the first and last of your kind, you have within you so many miraculous things, both in reality and potentiality. The trick is in identifying what you are about, your values and highest visions for your limited time on this Earth, and prioritising your life so that the larger part of your energy is devoted to achieving the things which serve you, help you achieve your life's purpose and feed your sense of identity and accomplishment positively. The reward of knowing how your endeavours are serving you and your community off-sets any stress.
Yoga has an almost magical power to bring you into present time, still the mind, relieve stress, detoxify the body of the metabolic products which contribute to depression and anxiety and gives a great strength work-out without the producing the same high level of cortisol produced in other forms of training.
Additional home tips to reducing Stress:
Reduce refined sugar, alcohol, drugs
Take Regular rest and relaxation breaks
Manage your lifestyle wisely
Seek the help of a professional
Sometimes, it may be neccessary to enlist the help of an expert to help you get a handle on all this stuff. Kinesiology is a fantastic Holistic therapy which helps people eliminate stress from their lives and achieve their miraculous potential.
I recommend booking a session for one on one Kinesiology
I hope you enjoy making these simple shifts to see your health evolve.