There is a natural connection between the way we live and the diseases that come our way. Science is just beginning to discover the linkages between specific negative emotions and specific physical disorders, but already many of these connections can be made.
Negative emotions damage the body. When we perceive a situation to be dangerous, adrenaline and cortisol are released by our bodies to facilitate “flight or fight” responses. The problem is that most of the “dangers” that cause stress cannot be resolved by fighting or running away! I have tried both and neither ever worked.
Modern life is characterized by a tsunami of stressful events and daily pressures coming at people from every conceivable direction. And yet the real culprit isn’t the situations which surround us – it is the emotional reactions to these events.
Emotions are not confined just to the mind or heart, but they are often translated into chemical reactions which occur at both the organ level and the cellular level! Apparently, the “most damaging” emotions are feelings of un-forgiveness, anger, worry, fear, resentment, and frustration. Clearly, no one with an emotional life is immune to the danger, particularly FEAR (FALSE EVENTS APPEARING REAL!)
These negative emotions which place so much stress on our bodies come in two forms: those that arise out of present situations and those that are embedded in our deepest memories. These unhealed memories are actually concealed as false beliefs and negative images in our mind, formed as destructive remembrances. Our immune system is the primary healing source in our bodies. Stress is the one thing things that diminishes the immune system. Healing these memories is the only way to allow the immune system to do its job.
Reducing the emotional symptoms of stress starts with reducing the sources of stress in your life. There are a variety of stress-reducing techniques.You have to find the ones that work for you in providing relief, but they don’t eliminate the reasons for your stress.
- Physical activities such as running, jogging, and aerobics are a great way to relieve stress and tension.
- Relaxing physical activities such as yoga or tai chi can help to work your body while relaxing your mind.
- Mindfulness techniques such as contemplative meditation and prayer can strengthen your emotional responses to stress.
- Reducing stress in a particular area of your life can help to lessen your exposure to chronic stressors.
- I use some mobile apps, such as Calm, that engage my mind through guided conversation which helps me manage stress and anxiety.
Over time, you may find that your resolve against stress becomes stronger and that your symptoms improve. However, if you find that you’re still struggling to handle the emotional aspects of everyday or chronic stress, it may be best to reach out to a mental health professional. You cannot allow these techniques to mask the underlying problem.
Learning how to recognize sources of stress in your life is the first step in managing them. Everyone has different stress triggers, but work stress tops the list for most people.
Causes of work stress include:
- Being unhappy in your job
- Having a heavy workload or too much responsibility
- Working long hours
- Having poor management, unclear expectations of your work, or no say in the decision-making process
- Working under dangerous conditions
- Being insecure about your chance for advancement or risk of termination
- Having to give speeches in front of colleagues
- Facing discrimination or harassment at work, especially if your company isn’t supportive.
Everyday life and personal relationships also have a big impact.
- The death of a loved one
- Loss of a job
- Increase in financial obligations
- Getting married
- Moving to a new home
- Chronic illness or injury
- Emotional problems
- Taking care of an elderly or sick family member
- Traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, theft, rape, or violence against you or a loved one.
Sometimes the stress comes from inside, rather than outside. You can create stress just by worrying about things. All of these factors can lead to stress:
- Fear and uncertainty. When you regularly hear about the threat of terrorist attacks, global warming, and toxic chemicals on the news, it can cause you to feel stressed, especially because you feel like you have no control over those events. Also, major fears develop over money issues and paying the bills, particularly when an unexpected bill arises and the budget is thrown off. Shit happens.
- Attitudes and perceptions. How you view the world or a situation can determine whether it causes stress. For example, if your television set is stolen and you take the attitude that’s why we have insurance you’ll be far less stressed than if you think the robbers are coming back to hurt you. Similarly, people who feel like they’re doing a good job at work will be less stressed than those who worry that they are incompetent.
- Unrealistic expectations. No one is perfect. If you expect to do everything right all the time, you’re destined to feel stressed when things don’t go as expected.
- Change. Any major life change can be stressful — even a happy event like a wedding or a job promotion. More unpleasant events, such as a divorce, major financial setback, or death in the family can be significant sources of stress.
Your stress level will differ based on your personality and how you respond to situations. Some people let everything roll off their back. To them, work stresses and life stresses are just minor bumps in the road. Others literally worry themselves sick.