Understand and Control How Your Thoughts and Emotions Affect Your Mind and Body Health
Extreme emotional stress or “a broken heart” can cause death. When Debbie Reynolds passed away, her son said that the stress of his sister Carrie Fisher’s death the day before was too much for his mother to take as she planned the funeral for her daughter. Known medically as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, it can strike anyone, even those in good health with no previous heart problems. Debbie Reynolds had said, ‘I want to be with Carrie.”
Broken-heart syndrome occurs when stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol cause arteries to limit blood flow to the heart. The condition can cause heart arrhythmias and sudden death. Barbra Streisand, an advocate for women’s cardiovascular health, said “too many women die of heart disease and stroke like mother and child Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher.” One is even more likely to get a simple cold or flu if living with excessive stress. Stress weakens the entire immune system making us more susceptible to countless illnesses and addictions.
Your thoughts can make your heart pound, cause short, fast breaths and raise blood pressure fast. Your brain and body continually create thousands of different chemicals and hormones that affect your nervous system. This influences your feelings, behavior, immune system and health. 70 to 90% of all visits to physician’s offices are caused by, or made worse by STRESS.
Stress can cause and worsen mental and physical illness drastically. The risk of a heart attack increases about 2 ½ times as much following anger. People with high hostility are more likely to have severe atherosclerosis, hardening, narrowing of the coronary artery. Pessimism seems to increase the risk of illness. People often get cancer 6-18 months after serious multiple stressful events. Animals under stress have an enormously higher cancer rate.
Cancer patients are often called the “nicest people”. Too frequently, they put their own needs aside for others. We all thrive with a strong sense of self-esteem, with the ability to say “no” and with the willingness to satisfy our own needs. Assertiveness and optimism will make you happier and healthier.
Depression after a heart attack must be treated, or it can increase the possibility of an earlier death. I have a friend who has been a funeral director for over 30 years. He tells me that he commonly sees people retiring and shortly after dying. We all thrive on involvement with a purpose and/or people, preferably both. Thinking thoughts of appreciation and gratitude, especially before sleep, will protect your heart. Thoughts before sleep have a powerful effect upon your subconscious mind which communicates closely with your immune system.
A few examples of important actions that will assist your mind and body to release healthy chemicals:
- A happy marriage or close relationship.
- Close friends and family for emotional support.
- Church membership.
- Active group or club memberships.
- Prayer, meditation, guided imagery or hypnosis.
- Progressive relaxation, Yoga, deep breathing exercises.
- Daily physical exercise, stretching for release of endorphins, improved self-image.
- Having a pet for affection and companionship. Animals also have healthy changes in their cardiovascular system while being petted by people.
- Laughter. I enjoy comedians. Laughter has a stimulating effect, activating many muscles like an internal workout with a reduction of stress hormones, the release of “happy chemicals” and followed by a feeling of relaxation.
- Simple and inexpensive pleasures: Relaxing or soothing inspirational music; appreciation of nature, a walk in a forest, a sunset; appreciation of beautiful art; nostalgic moments; a good book, movie or a live play; physical contact with another person; sexual activity.
- Be giving, be a volunteer.
- Express yourself creatively with art.
Dr. Milton Erickson, a most respected psychiatrist and hypnotherapist, regardless of the problem, always sought a goal of happiness for his patient.
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” John Lennon
“Intelligence is in every cell of your body. The mind is not confined to the space above the neck.” Candace Pert, PhD.
Information like this should be taught to everyone who goes to school. I encourage you to read my similar blogs on this website.
My website is full of ideas and tips to help you to achieve health, peace of mind, happiness, joy and mental mastery for a fulfilling life. Tell your friends to visit the website too.