Many of our great scientists, doctors and metaphysicians have helped us to understand this irrefutable connection of the mind and body and, in short, how your state of mind directly affects your state of health. For example, we now know that the brain operates much like a highly-sophisticated chemistry set, releasing precision dosages of “drugs” according to our own unconscious instruction. We release toxic amounts of adrenaline when stressed or scared and invigorating dosages of interleukins when exhilarated. This just happens, whether we are aware of it or not. So part of the Rock-Solid approach to Mind/Body wellness is to cultivate simple lifestyle practices where we consciously increase the flow of the “good” chemicals and decrease the flow of the “bad.”
In fact, the “bad” chemicals that are released when we are stressed, angry, depressed, etc., have a derogatory affect on our health in six key areas:
1. General health – Stress is the most prevalent non-nutritional contributor to the dangerously high levels of acidity in the blood stream that most people walk around with. (As mentioned earlier, the high-acid internal environment remains one of the single biggest factors to most any form of ailment, sickness or disease.)
2. Heart rate – Stress or stressful emotions can elevate our heart rate and blood pressure.
3. Digestion problems – The release of these harmful chemicals and the subsequent bodily reactions that they cause impede proper digestion on a number of fronts (including the restriction of blood flow to the digestive organs).
4. Degeneration of soft tissue – They are even finding that these chemicals undermine the health of our soft tissues.
5. Age-related memory loss – Heightened amounts of cortisol are released into the bloodstream when we’re stressed, and this can have toxic effects on the good ol’ hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that processes memory.
6. Body fat – Likewise, these heightened amounts of cortisol have been linked to the storage of body fat, especially the inter-abdominal fat around the belly. (To be clear, unnatural amounts of cortisol zipping through your bloodstream doesn’t make you fat, but it can make the job of losing excess body fat more difficult.)
For these very compelling reasons, our thoughts truly can be toxic. So let’s take a deep breath and look for ways to resolve stressful situations and disempowering emotions. More on that next time.