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Thursday 7 July 2011

Emotions and your health!

Emotional Health. I have thought a lot about this lately, looking back on my life, circumstances and situations out of my control that I was able to work through and deal with, and yet at the time my body truly was out of my control. The pounding heart and accelerated heart rate, nervous anxiety, that constant voice in your head saying things you didn’t want to hear…we’ve all experienced it, and as a society I think it has become an acceptable part of our day to day life: emotional instability!

How many people do you know who are going “through something” right now? Whether it be emotional stress from work, a relationship, an illness, friendships in turmoil…everyone does, and although this is what makes us uniquely human, it can go too far. The bonding we share as humans, the need to share our feelings, laugh, cry, the ability to get emotional over something is special in itself, but there is a point when the state of someone’s emotional health must be taken seriously, and here is why:

The body doesn’t distinguish between physical and psychological threats. When you’re stressed over a busy schedule, an argument with a friend, a traffic jam, or a mountain of bills, your body reacts just as strongly as if you were facing a life-or-death situation. If you have a lot of responsibilities and worries, your emergency stress response may be “on” most of the time. The fight or flight switch is triggered the more your body’s stress system is activated, and it becomes easier to flip it on then shut it off.

Long-term exposure to stress can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process. Long-term stress can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety and depression. (watch the movie What the Bleep we Know, Quantum Physics and how your brain works! )

Stress Warning Signs and Symptoms

Cognitive Symptoms and Emotional Symptoms

▪ Memory problems
▪ Inability to concentrate
▪ Poor judgment
▪ Seeing only the negative
▪ Anxious or racing thoughts
▪ Constant worrying
▪ Moodiness
▪ Irritability or short temper
▪ Agitation, inability to relax
▪ Feeling overwhelmed
▪ Sense of loneliness and isolation
▪ Depression or general unhappiness

Physical Symptoms Behavioral Symptoms

▪ Aches and pains
▪ Diarrhea or constipation
▪ Nausea, dizziness
▪ Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
▪ Loss of sex drive
▪ Frequent colds
▪ Eating more or less
▪ Sleeping too much or too little
▪ Isolating yourself from others
▪ Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
▪ Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
▪ Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

What can you do about your emotional health? First off, start with your diet, Vitamins play a huge role in how your body adapts to stress. Eat healthy, your body cannot operate it’s best on coffee and burgers! Practise yoga or go for a walk, exercize is key to helping reduce the cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones) in your body and put you back into a calmer state. Talk to someone, there is nothing better than getting things off your chest…that’s why we have voices! Share with freinds, you’de be surprised how supportive they will be.

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