All scientific research is pointing at stress being the root of most illnesses affecting us today.
Your mind is in constant communication with your respiratory, digestive, reproductive and central nervous systems, and fully controls the entire health and functioning of your body. We automatically associate the term ‘health’ with physical well-being. Somehow, we skip the most crucial link: the mind.
The number of people affected by stress today is staggering; few of them do anything to cope with it. At the most, we talk to a friend or go for a walk, which temporarily helps, but only at the surface level. Many take to binge eating, drinking and smoking in the face of stress. More load on the digestive system, liver and the lungs will only put your body under chronic stress.
We’ve adapted to stress in a way that it has become a normal state of being.
* A common scenario is that our body can be experiencing stress physically, but because we’ve become so used to being in that state, we are ignorant of it on a mental level.
* Stress originating from tiny everyday issues gains momentum over time and deters our ability to have clarity about our emotional and mental lives in the long run.
* Managing stress will help you get a handle on many physical health problems such as chronic pain and gastrointestinal disorders to mention a few.
How To Handle It All
We cannot control the myriad of issues that come our way, but what we can control is how we respond to them. The first and the most important step is to recognise you are about to be stressed, and do something about it.
Here are a few tips:
- Breathe: Take long and deep breaths for about two-three minutes, and breathe right. Your belly should expand as you inhale and retract as you exhale. This simple technique relaxes your body, thereby calming your mind as a by-product.
- Music ’therapy’: Pick a soothing track, and tune out of the stress and into your inner calm.
- Pet-love: Hug and cuddle your beloved dog or cat. Having physical contact with your pet not only lowers your blood pressure, but also makes you feel loved, and calms your mind.
- Run/Exercise: About to have a tough meeting with your boss, or break-up with your partner in a few hours. Move your body to prepare your body. We know endorphins released post physical activity make your body happy, thereby giving you a happy and calm mind.
- Live in the moment: While all of the above are ways to get ready for the oncoming train, here’s what to do when stress hits you. The best way to combat all physical health issues is to deal with stress when it’s at its very beginning, with a Zen mind. More often than not, we stress crazily in anticipation of bad situations that never even end up taking place. Also, millions of people across the world use the binge-and-purge method in dealing with stress. They stress out all day, thinking they can wait until evening to release it upon hitting the gym or going for that yoga class. Wrong. ‘Repressing until later’ is the root of all diseases. “Unfortunately, when we delay going for our inner balance, our body has already activated the stress response — our health suffers at all levels, no doubt.”
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