Stress is a killer in our society; in fact it’s estimated that between 60-90% of all doctors visits are for stress-related illness. But in reality it’s not the stress that’s the problem, it’s our reaction to it. Emotional stress often isn’t in the here and now; it’s haunting us from the past or taunting us from the future. Finding a way to change our reaction to the stress is the key to better health. Below are a few suggestions that can help.
People who meditate have lessened pain response, lower heart and respiratory rates, better blood pressure levels and a have a slowed aging rate.
People who meditate have lessened pain response, lower heart and respiratory rates, better blood pressure levels and a have a slowed aging rate. Yes, regular meditation slows the genetic effects of aging. Herbert Benson, MD called this the Relaxation Response in opposition to the Stress Response. Many people say they aren’t good at meditation and it is difficult for many, but there is a type of meditation that anyone can do. It’s called a mini. It is so simple. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath. On the inhale think “I am” and continue to think that on every subsequent inhale. On the exhale think “at peace” and continue to do that. So on the inhale you are thinking “I am” and on the exhale “at peace.” And if thoughts come in, just dismiss them without judgment. It’s that simple. You can do this anywhere, in traffic, standing in line at the bank, before an important lecture or meeting or when trying to fall asleep. Try it; it is the best tool ever.
It’s estimated that we have 60,000 thoughts a day and that 50,000 of those are negative.
You can change your mind. It’s estimated that we have 60,000 thoughts a day and that 50,000 of those are negative. With 80% negative thoughts it’s no wonder we’re having so much stress. All those thoughts are affecting our physical health and studies show that positive people have less pain, live longer lives and have more life satisfaction. How can we change those thoughts? Let’s talk about affirmations. To use affirmations, make them short, put them in the present and make them positive. We can only think one thought at a time so rather than worrying or dwelling on something negative think, “I am relaxed and in control” or “I am surrounded by positive energy”. By using affirmations we not only shut out unwanted thoughts, but also program our bodies and lives for success.
Visualization is another technique you can use for health, relaxation and pain reduction. Our minds can’t tell the difference between what we’re thinking about and what is really happening, so taking a mental break where you picture yourself lying on the beach in Maui or activating your immune system, can actually effect change in the body. We visualize every time we daydream, just concentrate on what you want the true positive outcome to be and see the good results.
– Kathy Gruver, Ph.D. is the author of The Alternative Medicine Cabinet and Body Mind Therapies for the Bodyworker. She is the host of the TV series, The Alternative Medicine Cabinet and lectures on health nationwide. More information can be found at www.thealternativemedicinecabinet.com