By Donna Gates, as seen on:
Would you like to know the most important health secret that many of us overlook? The secret is this: In order to be healthy and fabulous, we have to feel healthy and fabulous.
Believe it or not, the power of thought has a profound biochemical influence in the body.
Stress, whether physical or emotional, can actually increase the inflammatory response in the body and weaken immune system function.
Ever heard of the fight-or-flight response? During this stress response, our digestive function slows or completely shuts down. When we are constantly in a state of stress, we are more likely to harbor gut infections, suffer from gastric ulcers, or have bouts of bloating and constipation. Stress also limits the body’s ability to repair itself.
When we perceive and feel stress, especially repeatedly and over a long period of time, toxicity builds up in the cells. The body begins to break down and loose the energy that it requires to function at optimal levels.
Much of the stress that we perceive in life is just that: perception. For example:
- How many of us get impatient or frustrated in daily traffic, with co-workers or employees, or even with friends and family members?
- How many of us push a deadline, work long hours, or over train at the gym?
Did you know that a fight with a spouse could trigger an inflammatory response in the body that lasts up to three days?
If we are constantly moving from one stressful event to another, the body quickly becomes become run down and overburdened.
Food can also be a source of stress in the body. For example, when we eat foods that irritate the lining of our gut, this can create a stress response. Often, when we remove food irritants, there is a dramatic shift in health: Our joints feel more limber, our mood elevates, our acne disappears, and we are able to think with greater clarity.
Stress will never go away. Life has been set up as a series of lessons. Even in infancy, when learning to walk, it is the challenge of the next step that teaches us how to move.
The key to stress is learning how to manage it. When managed well, stress can lead to progress and growth.
- Study mindfulness and the art of flexibility. Learn how to laugh at yourself.
- You may not be able to avoid life and its stressors, but you can choose how to respond to these events.
- You can also choose the foods that you eat. Avoid foods that ignite a stress response in the body.
- When you eat, sit down. Relax. Resist the urge to read something or watch television. Some people even eat while driving. Take time to appreciate food and eat when you feel peaceful.
The most important health tip to always keep in mind? When we feel good, our body responds on a cellular level. Approach stress with humor and practice saying ‘Yes’ to life!
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