Managing emotional stress is one of the key factors that affect one` s health. Exercise, diet and sleep are pretty much irrelevant. But, what makes emotional stress one of the most important causes of all chronic health problems?
Simply put, emotional stress causes damage which the body cannot defend itself against. The body pays a huge price for each time you feel tense, angry frustrated, and anxious.
This doesn’t mean that you should strive to never feel these emotions as all of them serve certain purposes. The danger arises when these emotions are felt on a regular basis.
Emotional stress triggers various reactions in the body which involve the sympathetic nervous system, the part of the nervous system that increases the chance of survival in dangerous situations, such as coming upon a wild animal. In such a situation, the nervous sympathetic nervous system would:
- Slow or shut down the digestive system in order to save blood, oxygen, and nutrients that could he used to fight or run
- Accelerate and intensify the heart and breathing rates, so that there is more oxygen available to the muscles
- Draw away the blood supply to the large muscles groups to fight or run
- Cause the adrenal glands to release norepinephrine and epinephrine in the system to boost cardiac output
- Trigger the release of glucose into the blood to give you an energy boost
- Increase the perimeter of the pupils to allow more light to enter the eyes and more acute vision for fighting or running
Emotional stress is extremely detrimental to the overall health as the boy reacts to it the same away as it would do to if you came upon a wild animal. The sympathetic system undoubtedly increases its output when you feel frustrated, angry, anxious, and tense.
So, what can be done to manage emotional stress and prevent these stressors from creating health issues?
1. Breathe deeply and regularly
Deep breathing decreases the tone of the sympathetic nervous system while increasing the tone of the parasympathetic nervous system, the one that promotes good digestion and relaxation.
2. Make sure that you are getting the nutrients that you need for a healthy nervous system
As unbelievable as it seems, your nutritional status plays an important role in whether you are able or not to handle stress. Make sure you take enough B vitamins, vitamin D and omega-3 fats.
3. Move your body
Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to stay emotionally balanced! The type of exercise doesn’t matter as long as you move your body regularly.
4. Spend some quiet time every day in prayer, meditation, or a purposeful relaxation session
Purposeful relaxation sessions have been shown to improve blood pressure, reduce pulse rate, lower blood pressure, and promoting optimal relaxation.
5. Be honest about your feelings
Being honest about your feelings is critical to preventing unpleasant emotions from turning into chronic states like anxiety and frustration.
6. Practice visualization
You can include visualization in your relaxation sessions, which will help you go about your day in a balanced manner.