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What's Stress Got To Do With It? Control Those Negative, Second-Hand Emotions

Jul 31, 2008
At Some point in our lives, nearly everyone will experience a period of time suffering from an emotional upheaval. Or, otherwise known as stress and anxiety. Currently, about 30 million Americans, and rising, have been diagnosed with some type of systemic, stress-related emotional health illnesses such as panic attacks, post-traumatic stress, depression, and general anxiety disorder.

Obviously, there is not much anyone can do to avoid being exposed to common, daily stimulus factors such the death of a loved one, divorce or separation, job loss, family conflicts, and traffic jams. Realistically, the only thing anyone can do to lessen the impact of these unpleasant and stressful life events is in making a, conscious, choice to respond more positively and appropriately to them. Reacting out of fear, or with continual negative thinking, to the upsetting events in our lives will automatically set in motion a complex, biochemical defense system response. This happens inside our brains with the release of several stress fighting hormones.

The release of these stress hormones like cortisol, are actually designed to help protect us in the event of a life threatening situation. This automatic chemical release helps activate our body's 'fight' or 'flight' response in being able to save our life. These are rare events that most of us do not encounter on a daily basis. If you are in the path, and in danger of being run over by a train or about to be attacked by a saber- toothed tiger for example, you need this defensive chemical release. It is designed to help spur you into action, by quickly getting you out of harms way.

Physical health problems begin to arise, however, when we begin to react negatively or fearfully to this 'eminent danger must be near' warning response to the everyday, stressful events that make up our lives. Repeated, or excessive, releases of these chemical stress fighting hormones will gradually produce a snowball effect of harmful physiological changes to our body such as muscle weakness, bone density loss, increases of blood sugar and cholesterol levels, suppressed immunity to diseases, high blood pressure, and increased amounts of abdominal fat. These changes are responsible for producing conditions and diseases like excessive weight gain, heart attacks, depression, and diabetes to name only a few.

According to Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill, there are 6 basic fears. Everyone of us will experience at least one of them, or a combination of several at some point in our lives. They are:

1.Fear of poverty
2.Fear of criticism
3.Fear of ill health
4.Fear of the loss of a loved one
5.Fear of getting old
6.Fear of death

Hill believes the fear of poverty to be the most emotionally destructive of the six. He explains that this common fear hinders our ability to reason, destroys imagination, undermines enthusiasm, leads to uncertainty of purpose, encourages procrastination, and diverts effort. It also kills love and many other positive emotions, destroys friendships and leads to insomnia, misery, and much unhappiness.

So what can you do, naturally, to turn some of your poor life coping skills around, without using drugs or surgery to lessen the harmful impact of negative emotions on your body?

Movement- Get physical! Exercise has been proven to help reduce stress and anxiety. Walking is usually the quickest and easiest form of regular exercise to engage in. But, riding a bicycle, running, and hiking rank as popular choices too. Remember not to push yourself to hard, or you will defeat your purpose.

Relaxation- Learn how to engage in activities that help you become still and help to quiet your mind like meditation. Try pursuing a new, more meaningful spiritual health program. Consider taking up a creative hobby that might just end up helping you find your life's purpose. It may also provide a way to help serve others , and bring you a lot of satisfaction and happiness. Learn how to take in some of the free, simple, and everyday healthy pleasures of nature by giving your vitamin D levels a boost. Sunshine is free, and everyone benefits from about 20 minutes of bare skin exposure to the sun's rays, several times a week. While you are outside, take some time out to notice how beautiful the sky, trees, flowers, and water really is that surrounds you. Learn some deep breathing techniques.

Diet- It is so important to eat and drink right. This will help to better support your thoughts, which in turn will help produce the more positive feelings (or emotions) you wish to have. Eating a more balanced diet includes getting in more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy brain fats like omega-3 and coconut oil. Learn how to use EFT to help you find any emotional issues that may be feeding your addiction to unhealthy foods or beverages.

The main purpose in deciding to try and do something about your unconscious reactions to your daily life stresses is a wise move that will have a far reaching impact on your physical health. It will also help give you a much needed sense of control over your life, in dispelling the helpless feelings that have been bringing you down.

It is a good idea to ask yourself some, serious questions once in a while like, "why am I reacting this way" or "why am I doing this?" "Do I have to do this", or maybe a bigger question might be, "is the world going to come to an end if I can not do this anymore?"

More importantly, when an uncomfortable situation or event arises in your life listen to what your thoughts and feelings are manifesting inside your body, by its subtle reactions. Body sensations such as trembling, rapid heart beat, lump in your throat, heavy feeling in your chest, faking a smile, neck and back aches or pains, indigestion, nausea, sleeplessness, and over eating or under eating are physical signs you need to pay attention to. Learn how to cope with the stressful situation in a better, more positive way.

Instead of always saying 'yes' to something that you know will make you feel emotionally uncomfortable, or do something you know you do not have the time for, learn how to say 'no' in a gentle, kind, and compassionate way. Allow this breathing space to yourself first, and then to others. Your physical health and emotional happiness depends on it. If you don't, it may just end up slowly killing you.
About the Author
Brenda Skidmore has spent the last five years actively researching natural health care alternatives. It is her sincere desire to empower others by sharing this important information. To improve your health today visit
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