Stress – mind & body links

stress-1024x536

We have known for some time the affects that emotional stress has on the body. Particularly the increased risk of cardio vascular disease, this includes high blood pressure, and the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Some of this can be due to negative coping mechanisms – such as smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol – but a direct link between the psychological processes and the impact our health has been identified.

Research has found a link between our emotions and heightened activity in the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain which processes emotions such as fear and anger.

By measuring activity in this part of the brain, using CT scans, and measuring the levels of inflammation in the arteries, heightened activity was identified. By following up participants over several years, following a period of perceived stress, the researchers were able to show an association between the likelihood of a cardiac event and increased stress.

They also showed that higher levels of activity in the amygdala were associated with the occurence of cardiac events sooner.

Further studies have added weight to these findings. Participants stress levels were significantly associated with activity in the amygdala and arterial inflammation.

Keeping your stress levels in perspective are more important than ever.

Basics:-

  1. Recognise stress within yourself

  2. Journal your thoughts and feelings – reducing mental stresses and observe your growth

  3. Increase physical activity levels to maintain body wellbeing

  4. Eat as healthily as you can

  5. Nuture sleep

  6. Connect with others and communicate your challenge

    At times this may be challenging, in which case seek support.

Teach children to deep breathe to calm worries

As promised, here is a post on helping your child learn deep breathing techniques or belly breathing. Deep breathing is a quick trick to help alleviate anxiety and calm worries. When teaching a child this technique, there are 2 different ways I approach it, depending on the child’s age, developmental level, and comfort. Most children are […]

via Deep Breathing for Children — Dayna Sykes, LPC-S, MHSP

Reduce anxiety by deep breathing

One of the most common tools I teach teens and adult clients is belly breathing. It is one of the most successful tools when treating anxiety and fear. This trick can calm you down quickly and can be used ANYWHERE, which is what I love about it. Belly breathing is also known as deep breathing. […]

via Belly Breathing — Dayna Sykes, LPC-S, MHSP

Stress – mind & body links

stress-1024x536

We have known for some time the affects that emotional stress has on the body. Particularly the increased risk of cardio vascular disease, this includes high blood pressure, and the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Some of this can be due to negative coping mechanisms – such as smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol – but a direct link between the psychological processes and the impact our health has been identified.

Research has found a link between our emotions and heightened activity in the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain which processes emotions such as fear and anger.

By measuring activity in this part of the brain, using CT scans, and measuring the levels of inflammation in the arteries, heightened activity was identified. By following up participants over several years, following a period of perceived stress, the researchers were able to show an association between the likelihood of a cardiac event and increased stress.

They also showed that higher levels of activity in the amygdala were associated with the occurence of cardiac events sooner.

Further studies have added weight to these findings. Participants stress levels were significantly associated with activity in the amygdala and arterial inflammation.

Keeping your stress levels in perspective are more important than ever.

Basics:-

  1. Recognise stress within yourself

  2. Journal your thoughts and feelings – reducing mental stresses and observe your growth

  3. Increase physical activity levels to maintain body wellbeing

  4. Eat as healthily as you can

  5. Nuture sleep

  6. Connect with others and communicate your challenge

    At times this may be challenging, in which case seek support.

Why Losing Control Can Make You Happier – Mindful

imageWork on lessening your need to seek control over others via Why Losing Control Can Make You Happier – Mindful

This explains a lot of the power balance when trying to manage teenagers!

As a parent I continue to work on stepping back a little…

Set boundaries, but keep communication open and encourage negociation and discussion. LOL!

Managing negative thoughts?

At times managing negative automatic thoughts can be difficult.

Any holiday period…with a change in routines, interacting closely with family members, or not as you would like, more time on your hands to think, plus the enhancements of alcohol or lots of rich food etc can amplify the thoughts running through your mind.

The Christmas holidays can be one of those times. Or the weeks following this when the debts need to be paid and the hangover of social events may be on your mind.

stop-recycling-thoughts-dr-diva-verdun-1

There are lots of quotes and suggestions on how to bannish these negative thoughts and focus on positive thoughts.

This can be really difficult to do!!

Working hard to stop negative thoughts and somehow not managing to keep them from from popping into your head and lodging there, as a rumination – going round and round, can add to the negative cycle.

Dr Judith Beck, a Psychologist and President of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in USA carried out research in 2013 which demonstrated that women were more likely than men to ruminate. However some people are more prone to negative thinking than others and this can be genetic and/or as a result of childhood experiences.

As constant negativity can interfere with happiness, add to our stress levels and eventually damage our health we are increasingly aware ongoing negative thoughts are not good for us.

This can add to increasing feeling of failure, due to not managing these negative thoughts.

 By not trying to stop these negative thoughts, worry and obsession can be reduced.

negative-thoughts

The basic premise of mindfulness meditation is acknowledging your negative thoughts which can lessen their weight. Acknowledgement and acceptance of these negative thoughts is the way forward!

Once the negative thought is accepted force yourself to challenge it.

There are many exercises you can use, based on cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT. Google or access ‘get self help’.

If your negative thoughts are making you feel overwhelmed – practice taking some deep breaths. Controlled breathing can help reduce the stress reponse and calm anxious thoughts.

Practicing meditation or self hypnosis can boost your positive feelings.

The more you practice acknowledging, accepting and challenging negative thoughts the sooner this can become the

However if your thoughts are making you feel distressed  or are interfering with your work or social habits, seek help from a mental health professional.

Being mindful

th

In this fast paced lifestyle, take time each day to be present in the moment.

This may be a few minutes to be in the “here and now”:-

as you have a break from the working day

or it may be an early morning mindfulness to focus and improve your mood as you wake up and prepare for the day ahead

or a late evening meditation to improve your sleep pattern

Stopping to be in the moment!

via 11 Ways to Steady Yourself

Hygge

All this talk on line of Hygge – a form of nuturing, natural and cosy lifestyle practised in Denmark.

hygge-definition

In these dark evenings, fresh icy days and by the fire nights, I need to incorporate some into my life!

hygge

The art of keeping your surroundings simple, natural but cosy and surrounding yourself with animals, family & friends.

Being social in a simple, low key and comforting way.

The month of December means we often do much of this socialising, but often not in the comfortable surroundings of home.

So when you are not preparing or celebrating Christmas madly,

try some Hygge to soothe the mind and nuture the soul.