Stress & Emotional Health Part 1
If you asked me what are two of the biggest drivers of most of the chronic diseases and symptoms that are affecting my patients, I would tell you chronic stress and poor nutrition. I am starting to believe that insufficient sleep and circadian rhythm disruptions could possibly be number one, but that is for a different blog series.
I know there are many other influencers of health, so I’m not suggesting chronic stress and poor nutrition are the only two, but I believe they are the two that are creating the greatest contribution to the chronic diseases my patients are experiencing. They’re also usually behind the symptoms of just “not feeling well.” I’ve already written many resources about nutrition, and how to create an approach to nutrition that supports our best health. Today, I want to spend some time on the topic of stress.
I wrote about stress extensively in my book, Authentic Health. There’s an entire chapter on stress and how to begin to master it. I use the term “stress mastery” rather than “stress management” because I believe we should become the masters of our own mind. We should be able to take control of our thoughts and emotions and minimize the impact of negative emotions on our health and well-being. I explained some of these concepts in my blog series that discussed the owner’s manual of the mind.
Stress and overall emotional health is a very important part of total well-being. Even if you’re physically healthy, if you feel bad emotionally, you will not have your best experience of life. If you consistently experience negative emotions, you’ll eventually have a negative impact on your bodily health. Ultimately, as you know from my other teachings, the mind informs the body, but the body also informs the mind.
In this series, we’ll walk through the different ways that stress can negatively influence our health. We’ll also talk about simple strategies that allow you to become the master of your own stress responses. The goal is not to eliminate stress. Stress is part of life; always has been and always will be. Stress can be quite good for us. There are many positive forms of stress. In the next post, I’ll discuss the differences between negative and positive stressors.
But the first step is to become aware. You have to understand the role stress plays in your life. You have to understand the difference between a positive and a negative stressor. You have to have a proactive strategy for how you’ll deal with stress responses. If you're not aware of this issue, you won’t be able to do anything about it.
Many people report to me that they know stress is negatively impacting them, but they haven’t stopped to really become aware of what stress is and how much control they have over it. When I explain these principles to them, it’s like a light bulb turns on. They realize, “Wow, I don’t have to be a slave to my own stress responses. I don’t have to become reactive and experience negative emotions. I can actually create the right responses and be a master of stress and also create a paradigm in which stress actually benefits me. It will make me stronger.”
I’m excited to share this information with you. Over the next several blogs, you’ll learn a lot about your mind, stress, emotions, and the practical steps you can take to control them.
Want to take control of the stress you’re experiencing? Follow along with this blog series and follow me on Facebook. There’s so much more to learn!