What's Stress Got to do with It?
Apr 07, 2011 06:47PM
The American Institute of Stress estimates that between 75% and 95% of all doctor visits are related to stress. High levels of stress are linked to weakened immune systems, colds, asthma, arthritis and digestive tract problems, just to name a few symptoms. Diet, exercise and slowing down are certainly important aspects of controlling stress but perhaps examining the role that thoughts and emotions play in stress is a key piece of the puzzle.
When the body is under stress the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system is running on high, like a revving car engine. In this state, the body is releasing a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol in continual and excessive amounts has many negative effects in the body. If we are constantly under stress, our body becomes trained to run at this high speed. This is not its natural state. Eventually it will begin to exhibit symptoms that it is tired � high blood pressure, anxiety, diabetes etc.
Every day more and more people are starting to acknowledge the connection between emotions, thoughts and the body. Today scientists have tools, including neuro-imaging and brain imaging, to see and measure on a molecular level the physical changes in the body caused by the mind. The best and most innovative stress management programs teach people how to address the underlying emotions and thoughts that are triggering the stress. This is getting to the root of the problem. Clients learn coping strategies that are simple and easy to fit into their daily lives.
People who learn and practice stress management techniques are retraining their mind and their body. They report an overall sense of calm and well-being, longer and deeper sleep, reduction in anxiety, alleviation of chronic fatigue, greater mental clarity and a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation for life.
Leslie Maloney is licensed HeartMath stress management specialist through the HeartMath Institute in Boulder Creek, CA. She assists individuals and organizations in developing stress management programs to meet their specific needs. For more information call 321-432-4346 or www.centerforlifepossibilities.com.