"Healing is accomplished the instant the sufferer
no longer sees any value in pain."
~ A Course In Miracles
Have you ever wondered if STRESS is the reason for your HEALTH ISSUES?
You try to keep your level of stress, but you still find yourself stressing about what to make for dinner, juggling work and kids, paying your bills on time and even trying to fit in some needed “me” time.
Have you noticed that you just don’t feel as alive or happy as you once did?
Your body is telling you that it needs rest, you are fatigued, not sleeping well and even find yourself a little irritable, but you keep pushing yourself anyways.
Your body is silently beginning to give you warning signs that you need to unplug and tune in!
I know I have been there before. In fact, I believe that stress is what brought about my very own health storm. Learning to unwind the after effects of stress, has been one of my greatest healers.
So, if you feel emotional turmoil more than you feel happy, it's time to listen to yourself and do something about it!
The Scoop On Stress
Stress really is all about your perception of life and your experiences. It is often related to your feelings of:
- Self -judgement
Over time, these negative feelings and emotions become compounded and can trigger chronic stress.
Stress is the number one reason for illness these days, and your body’s symptoms are often just signs and signals that something is wrong.
Negative emotions and feelings have been known to drain energy and wreak havoc on the body.
These emotions trigger the body's stress response and autonomic nervous system to a cascade of stressful hormones.
Stressful hormones not only lower your immune system, but they also weaken your digestion and steal your sex hormones and deplete them. This leads to a chaotic rhythm of your heart.
What is a Chaotic Rhythm of the Heart?
When your heart and brain have poor communicating, physical issues begin to show up in the body.
People often treat these symptoms with medications, nutritional supplements, diet changes and even new exercise programs.
The truth is, nobody wants to feel awful or imbalanced.
The trouble with only treating your body on a physical level is that usually your results are not sustained. If the original thought patterns and stressors is not dealt with, new symptoms often arise.
I know for me, I had to learn to tame my self judgement and learn acceptance so that I could surrender to the things I could not change. It was a process of letting go, that brought me greater healing.
Your approach to healing needs to incorporate all levels for permanent healing.
Symptoms Of Stress
Stress has a laundry list of symptoms that manifest in the body over time.
A chronically stressed person can have any of the following symptoms and sometimes multiple symptoms.
- Brain Fog
- Memory and Concentration issues
- Weight Gain
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Thinning hair
- Blood Sugar Regulation issues
- Digestive Issues (the gut is our second brain and closely linked)
- Sluggish Detoxification Pathways
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
- Musculoskeletal imbalances and Misalignments
- Cardiovascular issues
- Respiratory issues
The list is long and certainly this is not an exclusive list.
Stress showed up in my body as chronic pain. This triggered an even bigger stress response which eventually created a lot of hormonal imbalances for me. I had burning pain, which created weight gain and sluggish detox pathways. This was all from stress.
As you can see Stress can truly create many issues in the body and not something you want to let take control of your life and body!
Remember: illness is just a reminder that you have stepped away from wholeness. It's finding your way back to that which will bring about TRUE HEALING.
"The miracle comes quietly into the mind
that stops an instant and is still"
~ A Course in Miracles
5 Steps To Quiet Your Mind and De-Stress For Better Health
Breathe - Take time for yourself each day to slow down and focus on deep breathing. Deep slow breaths have actually been proven to turn down the sympathetic nervous system or stress response and engage the parasympathetic healing response.
It takes a few minutes each day to achieve a peaceful state through our breath.
I have incorporated deep breathing into my everyday routine. It brings about a sense of peacefulness and an abiltiy to cope with stress like I have never had before.
Visualize Love and Happy Memories - One of the best ways to improve the communication between your heart and your brain is to sit quietly each day, or whenever you are feeling stressed, and visualize a happy, joyful, loving memory. It can be something that you hold dear in your heart, or something you make up. All it has to do is bring you that warm feeling in your heart. At the same time breathe in deeply and slowly.
I also find it helpful to smile while doing this. It has been proven that a smile will release your happy hormones, even if it is a fake one!
According to the HeartMath Institute, healthy heart and brain communication is beneficial for improving Heart Rate Variability. As a result, communication between the heart, brain and nervous system are enhanced.
They have proven that positive emotions are associated with a specific physiological state called coherence. When your heart and brain are in coherence you will have improved physiological functioning, emotional stability and mental performance. So in a nutshell, better heart brain coherence equals less stress and negativity.
I have used the HeartMath clip in my meditations and deep breathing exercises to monitor how relaxed and peaceful my body is. I have found it a great tool for showing me when I am stressed and how to better relax.
Make Time For Yourself – In today’s busy and hectic world, it is even more important to take time out for yourself. Create time by...
- Taking an uninterrupted bath
- Going for a walk in nature
- Spend time with your friends
Getting out of your routine and remembering to have fun is what this is all about. With more joy comes less stress, and a healthier immune system.
For me, daily walks on my own are a time to reflect, be one with nature and they bring me a sense of peace.
Let Things Go – In the past I used to get caught up in the small things. Like whether or not the dishes got done, or the mess the kids left behind. I realized that those things didn't deserve my energy. I have gotten into the habit of using a great destressing technique called, Will this matter later.
The technique is done when stress arises by asking yourself, “Will this Matter Tomorrow?” If the answer is no, then I do something that will bring me joy instead.
Count Your Blessings – I used to get caught up in all the things that were wrong with my life, and all the things I did not have. Focusing on those things only intensified the amount of stress I had."
To change this I made a Gratitude List. I wrote down all the things I am thankful for. I focus on that list every day and add things when appropriate. It reminds me that I have so much to be happy about.
Are there things that you do to combat stress and your inner thought demons? I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below.