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30/03/2011

The number one health distroyer is all natural: stress

(NaturalNews) It is linked to nearly every major disease and multiple non-lethal conditions that plague us. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, high blood pressure, peptic ulcers, headaches, chronic anxiety, depression and addictive disorders that foster unhealthy lifestyles are all scientifically linked to chronic stress. In fact, over 50 conditions have been correlated with high stress lifestyles. Even obesity and all the health issues that flow from it, is believed to be a direct result of chronic and excessive stress.

No organ system is immune to the effects of stress. Here is a brief and partial synopsis of the damage stress can do to the body:

Hair: Excessive hair loss and premature baldness are linked to excessive stress

Skin: Eczema, psoriasis, hives, excessive blushing and sweating are linked to stress

Digestion: Stress is know to cause gastritis, colitis, stomach and duodenal ulcers, IBS and other digestive disorders.

Heart: Cardiovascular disease, hypertension, high blood pressure are linked to cumulative stress.

Mouth: Ulcers and excessive dryness of the mouth can be stress related.

Muscles: Stress may cause tightness, soreness, spasm, aching, lower back pain, twitching and muscular tics.

Lungs: Shortness of breath, panic disorder and exacerbation of asthmatic conditions are linked to stress.

Brain: Stress causes psychological conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, depression, irritability and even personality changes.

Reproductive organs: Menstrual disorders, vaginal infections, premature ejaculation and impotence can be stress related.

Chronic, overwhelming stress may be the number one plague of modern life. How does it work? Stress activates a chain of hormonal events that was originally designed to protect our ancestors from wild beasts. We've all heard of the fight-or-flight mechanism. Consistent mental and emotional stress fires up this response system and keeps it active in an ongoing way. The results are staggering. Here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say:

"The long-term activation of the stress-response system -- and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones -- can disrupt almost all your body's processes."

If you don't get a handle on your chronic stress in a personally noticeable way, such that you can feel the difference in your body each and every day, rest assured it is doing damage daily. Low stress people live longer. Highly stressed people live shorter lives.

A 2005 study headed by Dr. Elissa Epel at the University of California, San Francisco drives this point home. CBS News Correspondent Scott Pelley, who followed the study closely, reported that stress speeds aging at a cellular level by damaging your DNA. In a sense, stress creates chaos that affects your chromosomes.

Of the stressed out participants in the study, Dr. Epel remarked, "It was as though there had been in excess of 10 years of extra aging in these individuals' blood cells. And that's a very conservative estimate."

What to do? Reduce your stress. It should be everyone's number one health priority. Stress reduction can be approached in different ways. There are practical, external methods to consider:

* Get organized. Organizing your home, office and your schedule can have a dramatic impact on your level of stress.

* Cut back. Take an honest look at your work, family, home and community responsibilities. Have you taken on too much? Are you able to enjoy your personal commitments?

* Delegate. Whose help can you enlist to get things done?

There are also internal methods for reducing stress that involve managing your mind and body. They involve mediation or prayer, cognitive behavioral approaches, self-hypnosis, NLP, deep breathing, yoga and so on. When choosing a method to use, pick something that is practical. Stress reduction techniques and programs can be very helpful, but only if practiced consistently. Most of all, choose something that actually makes you feel relaxed in an ongoing way. If you can't feel the difference, there isn't any! If you find a method that works for you, evidence suggests there is great hope for your long-term benefit.

In the Cal State San Francisco study, the mothers who knew how to cope with stress didn't suffer the same cellular damage, regardless of how hectic their lives were.

Dr. Epel said, "It appears that resilience can ward off sickness and let us live longer, while those who feel overwhelmed by life may have a shorter one to live."

"I think that this is yet another call to people to be alarmed about their stress levels," Epel continued, "and to take them seriously. The cell is not a closed system. What happens in the mind, in particular, perceptions of stress, can indeed affect the most fundamental unit of our physical beings."

Sources:

Mayo Clinic, CBS News, Medicine-net, Stress.org

About the author:
Mike Bundrant is a retired mental health counselor, NLP trainer and publisher of Healthy Times Newspaper.

You can find Mike at inlpcenter.com


Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/031890_chronic_stress_health.html#ixzz1I6CGNgLf

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