The relationship between emotions, stress and health it is so clear that it is one of the few health keys experts agree on.
The link is so strong that researchers estimate that stress-related illnesses account for upwards of 80% of non-genetic health problems. If you expand your view of stress to include the burden of chemical toxins, unhealthy lifestyles and fake foods on our minds and bodies, in addition to mental distress, the number gets pretty close to 100%.
Chronic, or long-term stress of any kind, not only contributes to your risk of contracting a disease, it can speed the progression of illnesses you already have and make them worse.
You will see this advice echoed across this site - to get well and stay well you must do all you can to relax and protect yourself from damaging stress. Reduce distress of all kinds. Do everything possible to detox your life of mental and physical toxins which are major sources of stress.
Stress factors play a role in cancer, heart disease, depression, anxiety, AIDS, aging and auto-immune disease. By depressing the immune system, chronic distress increases the likelihood of contracting a viral or bacterial infection.
When people use the word 'stress' they are usually referring to mental or emotional stress. There are other types of stress as well that tax the mind and body and pose a very real threat to your health.
Environmental and Chemical Stress
You likely live in an environment full of electro-magnetic fields. There are thousands of chemicals making their way into your body through your food, water and air supply. It is inescapable. You may have a mouth full of mercury fillings.
Having to deal with these pollutants puts a demand on organs of elimination and cells that have to function in a less than optimal environment. What is especially damaging is that these health harmers may go unnoticed in the body until the damage is done.
Physical Stress Factors
Physically demanding exercise can also be taxing, even if you enjoy the activity. A moderate amount of physical stress is beneficial. It tones the cardiovascular system and the muscles. Too much exertion depletes your energy, strains your system, and may promote illness. Research shows that long distance running scars to the heart.
A while back I met a woman who gave up teaching aerobics even though she enjoyed it because she always felt tired and unwell. She began thriving when she switched to yoga. For her, aerobics was too physically stressful. Other people thrive on this kind of intense exercise.
Besides the chemicals in your food, eating lots of fake foods devoid of nutrients and full of sugar and trans-fats cause your body to cope by spiking insulin, using up nutrients and fighting free radical damage. That puts stress on your pancreas, digestive system and elimination system.
Emotions Stress and Health
You have probably noticed that after a long stint of worrying or overwork, you come down with a cold or flu. You may also have noticed that it sometimes takes months for your energy level to get back to normal.
Dr. Hamer, developer of the German New Medicine, noted that the connection between mental stress and health is so strong that he could trace every cancer case he studied, including his own, to an emotional trauma that occurred up to three years before the diagnosis.
The relationship between emotions, stress and health is evident in animals as well as people. It is so common for animals and fish fed kept in cramped quarters to become ill that they often spend their lives on antibiotics.
In the rest of this series on stress and health you will explore how the mental stress response works and its effects on mind and body.
The Stress Response - See what happens in the mind and body when triggered.
Physical Symptoms of Stress - Learn about acute symptoms and long-term hidden symptoms that wreak havoc in your body.
Telomeres and Aging - Read about recent discoveries about how emotional distress contributes to damage and aging of cells. Watch a video by Drs. Oz and Roizen describing this process.
Stress and Heart Disease - Explore the relationship between stress and chest pain, high blood pressure and heart disease.