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Steps to Healing Stress

How to heal stress

Humans are emotional beings who experience a range of emotions from extreme happiness or joy to sadness or depression. Every thought we think has a physiological effect on our bodies that will promote either health or illness. Stress is one of the biggest culprits related to diseases and symptoms. It can decrease immune function making people susceptible to chronic conditions such as: obesity, migraines, diabetes, heart disease, depression, anxiety, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, gastrointestinal problems, accelerated aging and premature death. Negative emotions may stimulate the production of chemicals, such as catecholamine and cortisol, which impact the body negatively when elevated for long periods. This may then lead to the production of hypertension, elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, among others. People with negative emotions may also experience generalized joint and muscle pain, as a result of increased inflammation in the joints and muscles. 

However, It is important to note that a person’s thought process could be the difference between health and disease because the relationship between the mind and the body is a very intimate one. The health of the mind directly influences the health of the body and vice versa. When negative emotions and stress are converted to more positive ones, the brain is stimulated to produce more beneficial hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which  produce a sense of well-being and relaxation. This causes one to feel more at peace, and some of the negative symptoms such as pain and stiffness are relieved.

How can one know if they are stressed?

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Unforgiveness
  • Ruminating (thinking about something over and over and over again)
  • De-motivation
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sleeping too much
  • Worry
  • Poor choices
  • Overeating
  • Under eating

There is hope for anyone suffering from stress.

Scientists have discovered that people who are optimistic build a stronger immune system, recover faster from illnesses, and in general, live longer and happier lives. As time passes, we can slowly re-train our minds towards more positive thought processes and overtime, it will become second nature. Choosing to be happy and hopeful provides whole body “healing” to a person and not just a “cure”.  We can also cultivate habits that will lead to holistic healing. It is one thing to cure symptoms, but it is completely different to heal the whole person from the inside out. 

“Our habits are the building blocks that we use to build a long lasting legacy.”

Living a long and healthy life is a choice we make everyday. What we put into our bodies is what we will get out of them. Here are some tips:

  1. Heal your body from the inside by eating healthily. Start out with small goals such as buying fruits and vegetables instead of junk food at the grocery store. Focus on anti-inflammatory foods
  2. Eliminate sugary or caffeinated drinks and focus on drinking more pure water
  3. Focus on getting physical activity
  4. Practice being grateful. Gratitude has therapeutic power. It removes the focus from yourself and directs it to God. It helps you focus on your blessings and enjoy them more.
  5. Retrain your mind and thought processes to think more positively and focus on things such as being happy and hopeful
  6. Make time for prayer and meditation. Having a spiritual connection to the Divine can greatly improve a person’s outlook on life.
  7. Prioritize getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night

Here are some foods and herbs you can include to aid in the process of relieving stress in the body:

  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Echinacea
  • Ginseng
  • St. John’s wort
  • Chamomile
  • Valerian root (not too often)
  • Healthy Fats: Omega 3 (Flaxseeds, Chia seeds, avocado)
  • Eliminate processed carbohydrates
  • 60-70% raw fruits and vegetables
  • Take Vit C, E, Calcium, B complex, Folic acid, Magnesium

To your health,

Dona Cooper- Dockery, MD

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