Stress, the root of most illnesses: research
The fact that most health-related issues are psychosomatic in nature is not dismissed anymore, with neuroscience providing data of sufferers’ astounding recoveries from diseases as deadly as cancer and heart diseases. Other disorders such as depression, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), insomnia, migraines, asthma, ulcers, digestive and sexual disorders also have a mental connect.
Another alarming aspect is that the stress of suffering from any of these ailments often leads to alcohol and substance dependency as a coping mechanism. It’s a vicious circle and there is only one way to break it — get working on your mind.
The number of people affected by stress today is staggering; few of them do anything to cope with it. At the most, we talk to a friend or go for a walk, which temporarily helps, but only at the surface level. Many take to binge eating, drinking and smoking in the face of stress. More load on the digestive system, liver and the lungs will only put your body under chronic stress.
We tell you how stress is affecting your health every day and how you can manage it in healthy and simple ways.
Stress is the foundation in the pyramid of all illnesses
“A typical stress reaction, which most of us experience countless times each day, begins with an avalanche of endless biochemical reactions in your body," says Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic, MIT, Boston, USA. He adds that when left unchecked, these reactions turn into illnesses, premature aging, and impaired cognitive functioning. "It drains our energy and robs us of our clarity and effectiveness,” says Kabat-Zinn.
* Stress can turn smart cookies into dumb automatons
* Stress can also make smart people do dumb things.
* It causes what brain researchers call “cortical inhibition”. Simply said, stress arrests a small but very important part of your brain, and one can’t function at their best.
We’ve adapted to stress in a way that it has become a normal state of being
* A common scenario is that our body can be experiencing stress physically, but because we’ve become so used to being in that state, we are oblivious of it on a mental level.
* Stress emanating from tiny everyday issues gains momentum over time and deters our ability to have clarity vis-à-vis our emotional and mental lives in the long run.
* Stress is bound to end up as a bad decision, or an unanticipated illness.
* Managing stress will help you get a handle on many physical health problems such as chronic pain and gastrointestinal disorders as well.