Are You Setting Yourself Up for Disease?
You have heard the words Alzheimer’s, heart disease, IBS, etc; conditions that no one wants to ever hear their doctors say they have–right?
Did you know that many studies have been done throughout the years to see what effect stress might have on the body?
In 2018 we want to help you learn more about ways to help your body be stronger and healthier and one vital thing you will need to do is either reduce your stress or learn how to manage it.
Studies done to date have found there are links between acute and chronic stress on many areas of people’s health including brain function. (These tests and studies have been posted for years and are easy to find with a simple search on the computer.) But this article is not about studies or tests but rather things you can do to help yourself reduce the stress so it can not continually tear you down.
The important thing is knowing that stress can be dangerous to your long term health and that there are steps you can take to help protect you against things like Alzheimer’s, digestive diseases, heart issues, and sleeping disorders.
Most people agree that thoughts play an instrumental role in a person’s health; for the good or the bad. Depression, anger, fears (all create some sort of stress in the body) are all thoughts that negatively affect a person’s health. Therefore, when looking at improving your health and also improving your chances for long healthy brain and memory function it is recommended you work on your thoughts.
When we work with people who are going through highly stressful times, especially in a disaster area, we encourage and direct those individuals to breathe; nice and slow. That may sound odd but the simple act of slow deep breathing is actually calming. Sometimes in a disaster area when a person is overwhelmed to the point of hysteria, we actually make that person follow our breathing and as we slowly breathe in deep and exhale slowly – they follow suit – and you can watch their body begin to relax.
When you accept the fact that stress affects your biology, you are better equipped to combat it and we want to share some ways to help you.
1 – BREATHE – If your life is prone to high stress make sure to take time to breathe. The old adage of “Take time to stop and smell the roses” was to help people stop and breathe because they knew the action of doing so would calm the person down and help them recover emotionally.
There are many books out on this topic which you could read or you could simply just start taking time to breathe in slow and deep and exhale slow as well.
2 – Exercise – I know, I know, this is something that is dreaded by many but beneficial to most. You do not have to go to a gym but you do need to at least get moving more whether you walk outside or walk at the mall or dance to your favorite music in the privacy of your own home, etc. The point is – you need to move to work off the stress we store up during the day. (How many times did your parents tell you to go outside and run off some of that excess energy? We heard it a lot as children; little did we know how beneficial that really was for us)
3 – Sleep – Fatigue causes physical and emotion stress but when well rested we tend to have more energy, are more happy, can think more clearly, and the little things in life do not bother us as much, and thus, we seem to encounter less stress both physically and mentally.
4 – Aromatherapy and music – Studies have been done that have shown that just the act of breathing in an essential oil can be calming or stimulating to different areas of the brain. All essential oils are not created equally so make sure your oil is safe.
Music can have the same effect but make sure you are listening to happy music not music that makes you cry!
5 – Laugh – Laughter is a great healer! If you are stressed, over worked, or depressed then take time to watch a funny movie.
When I was growing up, my mom and dad had a very high stress life. When my dad needed to find relief from the stress of the world he would watch a certain movie (one my family has all come to cherish). I remember lying in bed at night listening to him just laugh; and in the quiet of my room I would begin to giggle at his laughter. When I became older and life stress would wear me down I would call my dad for a date. I would ask him if I could come over and watch that movie with him and he always said yes. Later that night my dad and I would sit on the sofa hand in hand and I always knew right where he would begin to laugh. Together we would spend 1 ½ hours just laughing, putting aside the hardships of the world and together we would take sometime to heal. Just as that movie made him laugh to help him get through the hard times, my dad and the laughter helped me through many of my hard times as well.
Some people claim that Laughter is the best medicine. I do not know if that is true but it sure does help.
6 – Enjoy the great outdoors – I know some people do not like nature but there is serenity when you get outside in the country, the woods, at a lake, or on the beach. Some people find peace walking, or camping, and others have their stress reduced just by smelling the ocean air. Pick what works best for you and then take time and do it!
Some people believe the best and most beneficial exercise you can get is not found in a gym but outside.
7 – Time – Time is something that most of us say we do not have enough of; but remember – we are the ones who choose how we spend our time. If you never schedule time for you then your stress load will always be too high; and according to studies – it is that stress that is causing havoc on your body.
People who want to be prepared need to work on their health everyday because if a disaster happens you need to be in the best shape you can possibly be in – which means both physically and mentally.
So if you are wanting to improve your health – a great place to begin – is to start reducing your stress!