Mind over Matter

Stress and coping with stress is often addressed to promote healthy living and learn coping skills.

Have you ever considered if your thoughts and emotions can affect your physical state? Think of a time when you were really happy or really stressed, what do you think your physical self was doing inside. I’m talking about things like heart rate, blood pressure, hormones, or lack thereof that may affect physiological functions. I would like to make us more aware how our thoughts influence and affect our physical responses. Most of us are aware that prolonged stressors can create havoc to a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. We are also aware how pleasurable and happy moments can make us feel good. How about if we can take some time and try to control our thoughts in order to give our body and mind a rest? Setting a time for this type of exercise is not only recommended but necessary to promote a healthy lifestyle. This process is referred by some as meditation or prayer some may even combine it with exercises or prayer.

IMG_2433I read an article about a study done on how stress and illness relate to each other. The study was specifically looking at how music and guided imagery can benefit in lowering stress levels and helping people return to work sooner. Journal of Music Therapy 52 (3) 2015 pp 323-352

One of the concerns with prolonged stress levels is the rise in cortisol levels which can suppress our immune response, and decrease other hormone levels as testosterone. This imbalance can promote illness.

Let’s take at least 20-30 minutes per day to decompress and nurture our bodies and mind. A well known biblical passage comes to mind. Even if you don’t practice or read the bible, the principle can be of benefit. The passage is found in Phillipians 4:6-8. Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.cropped-img_1255.jpg

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