Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church

Streees Tips: Calm Your Mind, Heal Your Body

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Streees Tips: Calm Your Mind, Heal Your Body
 by Dr. Mark Hyman  

(Perhaps you have read or heard that 99% of all illnesses begin in the mind! When you read the Health Spotlight below, you will see what was written over 100 years ago is now coming to light by doctors).  

When it comes to your health, there is one factor that is more important than almost any other...If it is missing from your life, it causes or worsens 95 percent of all illness. It has been associated with dramatic reductions in disease and increased longevity. And it is more important than cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, or any other risk factor in determining whether you will live a long and healthy life. But it doesn't come in a pill, and it can't be found in a hospital or in your doctor's office.  

What is this critical factor that determines so much about how healthy or how sick you are? Your attitude, your social networks, your community, and your spiritual beliefs.

Put another way, the health of your mind and spirit and your sense of connection to your community has an immense impact on the health of your body. In fact, aside from eating breakfast, the biggest predictor of longevity is psychological resiliency -- being able to roll with the punches that life throws at us.

There is a dramatic and powerful connection between your mind and body, and between your body and your mind. In fact, it really should not be called a connection because it is just ONE bidirectional system. Unfortunately, few doctors accept or understand this fundamental reality about biology. So, in most doctors' offices, you aren't going to learn about the connection between your body and brain or how to use that connection to help you heal.

Stress is killing us! Just consider these facts:
• Stress hormones damage the hippocampus -- the memory center in the brain -- causing memory loss and dementia.
• In a study of people who volunteered to have cold viruses injected into their noses, only people with a high level of perceived stress got colds.
• Women with metastatic breast cancer survived twice as long if they were part of a support group.
• Belonging to a group -- a religious group, a bowling club, a quilting group -- reduces risk of death from all causes and increases longevity, despite health habits.

An Epidemic of Stress-Related Disorders
According to Hans Selye, MD, the man who coined the word "stress" and first mapped out its biological effects, "The modern physician should know as much about emotions and thoughts as about disease symptoms and drugs. This approach would appear to hold more promise of cure than anything medicine has given us to date."
Selye's words are as true today as they were on the day he wrote them.
We are seeing an epidemic of stress-related disorders in our society, including depression, anxiety, autism, attention deficit disorder, memory disorders, and dementia, and these disorders are making the pharmaceutical industry highly profitable.
You see, Americans live on caffeine and Prozac. We use substances to manage our moods. In fact, the four top- selling items in grocery stores are all drugs that we use to manage our mood and energy: caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and nicotine.
But how do we really deal with the root of this problem? You use the MOST powerful pharmacy in the world -- which is right between your ears!
The Power of the Mind-Body Connection
In school, we all learned how to read and write, but we never learned how to use our minds to help us with the most important survival skills of all: staying happy that is how powerful our mind and our beliefs can be.
But in the West we aren't even taught how to cope with the day-to-day frustrations of life. We live under constant chronic stress and we are not trained to address this stressful psychic load that is the burden of the 21st century.
This is unfortunate, because stress is killing us.
(Special insert: We, as Christians understand fully what the Word of God says about the stability of our minds: “He will keep you in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Him.” – Proverbs 16:3)

10 Tips for Calming Your Mind
Here is what we know about how to influence the mind-body and the body-mind system. Consider these essential survival skills. You cannot thrive without them!
1. Address the Underlying Causes of Stress -- Find the biological causes of problems with the mind by working on knowing if you have Mercury toxicity or a magnesium or vitamin B12 deficiency, or a toxic gut chemical, or a gluten allergy could be changing your brain. So, by changing your body, you can change your mind!
2. Relax -- Learn how to ACTIVELY relax. To engage the powerful forces of the mind on the body, you must DO something -- you can't just sit there watching television or drinking sodas or other sugary drinks.
3. Learn New Skills -- Try learning new skills such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, take a hot bath, get a massage, watch a sunset, or walk in the woods or on the beach.
4. Move Your Body -- Exercise is a powerful, well-studied way to burn off stress chemicals and heal the mind, so just do it! It has been proven to be better than or equal to Prozac for treating depression.
5. Optimize Your Nutrition -- Clean up your diet from mind-robbing molecules like caffeine, industrialized foods, and refined sugars and eat regularly fiberrich plant-based diet to avoid the short-term stress of starvation on your body.
6. Supplement -- Take a multivitamin and nutrients to help balance the stress response, such as vitamin C; the B-complex vitamins, including B6 and B5 or pantothenic acid; zinc; and most important, magnesium, the relaxation mineral.
7. Try Herbs -- Use adaptogenic herbs (herbs that help you adapt and balance your response to stress) such as ginseng, Rhodiola rosea, Siberian ginseng, cordyceps, and ashwagandha.
8. Use Heat Therapy -- Take a hot bath or a sauna to help your body deeply relax and turn on the relaxation response.
9. Change Your Beliefs -- Examine your beliefs, attitudes, and responses to common situations and consider reframing your point of view to reduce stress.
10. Find a Community -- Consciously build your network of friends, family, and community. They are your most powerful allies in achieving long-term health.