Modern medicine is starting to really recognize the dynamic relationship between the mind, our thoughts and feelings, and how they have a profound affect on our body.
For every feeling or thought we experience, a hormone/chemical is released.
Thoughts affect neurotransmitters known as chemical messengers. These messengers tell the brain to communicate to different parts of the nervous system controlling almost all of the body’s functions including hormone function in the adrenal medulla.
Think of it as this way, consider an emotion you have recently experienced. When you are sad, worried, angry or frustrated, how does your body react? Your muscles tense, you get over heated… possibly sweat, your heart pounds and you even experience gastrointestinal discomfort to the point of sickness. These are known as fight or flight symptoms. These symptoms mentioned above is considered acute, short term experience. Chronic fight or flight symptoms can lead to co-morbidities.
It is like a domino effect… when one thing is off, the rest will be affected.
Many who experience this are often sent from doctor to doctor, as it is sometimes difficult for medical providers to diagnose and treat.
Path To Improved Health
There are ways to take control of your life and head down the path to improved health.
Life can get hectic! Learning to created a balance around work, school, and home life is important to mental health. A positive outlook can help you achieve a balanced lifestyle. Dont take on that extra project. Learn to put yourself first at times. Also, find ways to let some things go in life that is out of our control. Dont sweat the small stuff.
Resilience- By managing our outlook and stress levels, we can control excessive neurochemical transmission. Resilient people recover quicker because they are able to manage their attitude and stress effectively. Resiliency is a learned behavior. Here are a few key things to keep in mind… Keeping a positive outlook, accepting change, having a good social support system, and the capability to keep things in perspective.
Therapy can help you achieve the above mentioned goals.
- Behavioral therapy
- Art therapy (art, music, dance)
- Hypnosis/ Guided imagery
- Yoga requires proper skeletal alignment, coordination and flexibility. The part of the brain responsible for achieving these core movements and posture directly inputs information to the adrenal medulla by regulating the stress response. Here is a few common yoga poses to help with immune function: Thymus gland support- Kurmasana (tortoise pose); Sinus and lungs- Downward facing dog; Chest and lung openers- Camel pose
Signs of Poor Emotional Health
You may not feel like exercising, eating nutritious foods, or taking medicine that your doctor prescribes. You may abuse alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. Other signs of poor emotional health include:
- Back pain, stiff neck
- Change in appetite, upset stomach, constipation or diarrhea, weight gain/loss
- Chest pain, Shortness of breath
- Palpitations (the feeling that your heart is racing)
- High blood pressure
- Extreme tiredness, insomnia (trouble sleeping)
- General aches and pains
- Sexual issues such as low libido
When to Seek Help
- Thoughts of suicide or hurting others
- Negative feelings that wont go away and keep you from enjoying life
I bet you are wondering….. Why is she posting this in a Pediatric blog?
A healthy mind starts at any age. In fact, being proactive on ways to properly handle stress in the pediatric years will benefit your mind and body in the adult years. The best way to educate our children to have a healthy mind is to lead by example and help them learn to manage stress at their development level.
Stress can have a negative impact on our immune system, making people more vulnerable to a disease. This is why managing stress by practicing the various techniques mentioned can lead to a healthier mind and body resulting in a better quality of life.
How do you manage stress and find peace in times of increased stress? How do you educate your children? Comment below.