Did you know that stress causes disease?
One of the major causes of disease is STRESS. To be healthy, one needs to recognize it and take steps to handle and control it. Before you can attempt to get stress under control, it is important to understand what it is and how it hurts your body.
Stress is a predictable physical response to emotions, the arousal of the body-mind system, causing fatigue and malfunctioning of the body. When this happens often, or for prolonged periods of time it can cause imbalance, physical problems, sleep disorders and serious disease.
Yes, stress is serious. It can raise blood pressure, cause cholesterol and blood platelet clumping, upset hormonal balance, weaken arteries and blood vessels, cause strain on the heart muscle, lead to mental confusion, cause glandular malfunction, sleeplessness, fatigue, diminished libido, weight gain and constipation. Each of these is considered a problem, and each can lead to bigger problems such as stroke, heart attack, cancer and many other serious diseases.
Stress of any kind weakens the body, weakens the immune system, and makes the glands work harder and actually may generate free radicals that can lead to disease.
Here’s what happens. Emotions (fear, sadness, anger, etc.) cause the release of adrenaline into the bloodstream. That shuts down many body functions so you can focus on handling the crisis. The body will prioritize functions, handing the most critical and delaying some regular functions that are not life threatening during a crisis. For example, during a crisis (either physical or emotional) digestion and other regular body functions may stop. That means that if you eat a meal and experience severe emotional upset, your body will not digest that meal well, as it will first handle the crisis and digest later. Do you notice that when you are under severe stress or a crisis that you’re usually not hungry? Of course, that doesn’t mean you don’t eat. Many people eat when they are nervous, not because they are hungry and need nourishment.
Did you know that even “good stress” could be harmful? What I mean here is the physical stress of over-exertion, over-indulging, being constantly busy and having too much fun (too many parties-too little time!). If you are overworked, careless about your diet, smoke, drink alcohol..are you under stress? Absolutely! All those behaviors are physically stressful to your body. Stress of any kind weakens the body, weakens the immune system, and makes the glands work harder and actually may generate free radicals that can lead to disease.
Treating the symptoms is not effective over the long term. You need to discover the cause of stress in your life and work on eliminating it.
I don’t believe that disease just “happens”. I believe disease is caused. I also believe that stress is a big factor in the development of disease. Personally I have heard of many people who have endured a stressful lifestyle or experienced personal grief or stress and later found that they have cancer, arthritis, lupus, asthma, allergies and other serious diseases.
Handling stress is a MUST. Unfortunately many people don’t bother to do that. In fact, they may not even acknowledge that they are stressed. They may simply cover it up with bubble baths, music, TV, alcohol, etc. Here are a few suggestions for handling stress effectively and staying healthier:
• Learn about nutrition and eat properly. It will aid digestion, reduce toxicity and make you feel better.
• Practice yoga or meditation. Studies show that these practices can greatly reduce stress.
• See a professional about the cause of the stress if you feel stressed. Treating the symptoms is not effective over the long term. You need to discover the cause of stress in your life and work on eliminating it.
• Take herbal stress formulas to help protect your body from the effects of stress. Some of the most effective herbal remedies contain a blend of valerian, hops flower, passionflower, chamomile. Kava kava is also effective, usually better taken alone.
• Avoid alcohol and smoking.
• Avoid sleep aids, unless prescribed for medical reasons. Eliminating the cause of stress will generally help sleep.
• Pamper yourself (or get someone else to do it.) Massage and Chiropractic adjustments to keep things flowing and improve circulation have been found to be very effective to combat stress.
• Laugh and do fun things. Take life lightly!