Stress related complaints account for nearly 90 % of all visits to primary care physicians. Stress can contribute to heart disease, obesity, headaches, depression and anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, Alzheimer’s disease, decreased immune function, accelerated aging and premature death. While these health problems may be alarming, studies suggest that stress management techniques not only make you feel better, but they can also have concrete health benefits.
Stress is a hormonal response in the body intended to insure our survival. In today’s fast paced, hyper connected world, we seem to be in a constant state of survival. Although not everyone experiences stress in the same way, we all at some time, feel the pressure that comes from not being “enough” and not having enough time, energy or resources to get it all done.
Too many times, our reaction to stress is to turn to junk food, alcohol, smoking, shopping, gambling, or numbing out with TV or the internet or some other substance or behavior that does not support our health.
One technique to deal with this is mindfulness based stress reduction. Mindfulness helps us to become aware of the thoughts and beliefs that are creating our emotions and driving our behaviors. These emotions manifest in our bodies as uncomfortable physical sensations. It’s our human nature to want to avoid this pain.
Mindfulness is about learning to turn inward to observe what we are experiencing (our physical sensations, our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions) in order to assess what is occurring before making an unconscious choice that may not allow us to reach our highest health goals. We enhance our lives when we consciously choose our response to the things we can’t control.
Practicing mindfulness and meditation has been proven to make beneficial changes in our brains. Using mindfulness to reduce stress also reduces blood pressure, lowers cortisol, and stabilizes blood sugar (helping with weight loss), improves mental health and enhances our overall sense of well being.
At Vivify, Denise, our health coach, is a yoga instructor and mindfulness expert who incorporates mindfulness into all aspects of your health journey to better help you achieve your health goals. Learning to be with your experiences (pleasant or not), adjusting your perspectives, and building your emotional resilience can not only reduce your stress and improve your health, but it can also propel you to reach beyond your comfort zone and achieve your life’s dreams.
If you feel that stress is contributing to your health challenges, let us help you to recognize its causes and reduce its effects and help you to use it to your advantage. By providing you with the right tools, together we can co-create the life and health you deserve.