Couldn't find what you looking for?

TRY OUR SEARCH!

Feelings do have implications on health.Feeling happy or excited about things tends to release hormones that serve to improve the functioning of all the organs in our body. Depression or sadness on the contrary, can have a negative impact on body and mind
Mind has been defined as the consciousness that originates in our brain and is characterized as thoughts, emotions, perceptions, will and imagination. These processes of the brain are guided through the release of a number of chemicals and hormone cells from the human brain.
Numerous researchers have been evaluating the mind-body connection and have reported various findings that prove this connection. Our moods, thoughts, and beliefs do play a role in health and disease. This is brought about by the different hormones and other chemicals that are released in our body in response to thoughts. These hormones or chemical messengers can excite us or depress us and also have an influence on the functioning of many organs in our body including the immune system. The psychological factors such as our mood reflect upon the biological actions of the immune system. Such factors can suppress the actions or increase the activity of the immune system and thereby have an effect on the health status of our body.

The Power of Suggestion

The mind has been categorized into the conscious and subconscious mind. The conscious mind is said to be the active one which tends to reason out things, while the subconscious mind is believed to accept things presented to it without questioning. The subconscious mind is amenable to suggestions and does not try to reason or rationalize. Therefore a powerful suggestion about health or disease on the subconscious mind can have a lasting effect on the body. The mind starts to think the body is affected and begins offensive or suppressive actions. In case of offensive actions the mind can initiate the activation of the immune system by the release of certain chemicals. This can lead to a cascade of events resulting in the increased production and activity of the immune cells. On the contrary, if the mind becomes suppressed, it leads to decreased activity of the immune system. A timid mind is affected easily and the body responds accordingly. A suggestion of not being able to cope up with a disorder can adversely affect the body’s ability to fight the disorder effectively. Working towards having a stronger mind that tests the suggestion before accepting it, can be beneficial in the prevention of a number of disorders.

Feelings Have Health Implications

Feelings do have implications on health. Feeling happy or excited about things tends to release hormones that serve to improve the functioning of all the organs in our body. Depression or sadness on the contrary, can have a negative impact on our mind and body. Researchers have indicated that a feeling of hopelessness or a depressed emotional state can have adverse effect on the physical health.

A study conducted in Canada has proven this relation between feelings and health. The study evaluated the recovery rates in individuals who had suffered a stroke. It was noted that individuals who were apathetic towards life or better health had a significantly less amount of recovery when compared to those who were not. High apathy was noted to have a negative effect on the physical function, participation levels, health perception and physical health during the first year following the occurrence of a stroke. Researchers concluded that apathy had a direct effect on the physical health.

Happiness on the other hand is the key to better health. Individuals who are happy have a higher level of satisfaction in life and are experience better health overall. Positive emotions are associated with better life outcomes. Studies have also indicated that a positive attitude has a favorable effect on health. It was noted that happiness decreased the stress responses and improved the performance of the heart. Thereby, a feeling of happiness can have a positive effect on the health wherein it can improve the health status and reduce the risk of several disorders.

Stress-Coping Strategies Are Essential

The presence of stress can both have a positive, as well as negative effect on our health. Stress improves the ability to work and think in many individuals. However, if the stress levels increase to a large extent it can have a debilitating effect. The body begins to function at a lower rate during continuous stress. A similar relation has been noted with respect to immune function. While short term or acute stress can enhance the activity of the immune system, chronic or long term stress can have a suppressing effect.

Studies have reported that chronic stress decreases the number of immune cells and reduces the immune response. Chronic periods of stress suppress the immune response in the cells and tissues. The effect has been partly attributed to the release of hormones known as glucocorticoids that tends to suppress the immune reaction when present in high doses.

Learning to cope with stress or taking measures to prevent stress can be beneficial in improving the health outcomes. Living in an unorganized way or postponing things until the very end can easily increase the stress levels. Following proper strategies to achieve target can reduce stress levels to a significant level. Organizing the work at hand and planning for future assignments can reduce the stress levels at work. Taking well planned breaks in between can also be beneficial in reducing stress levels. Leading a stress free life can help one to avoid the occurrence of a number of disorders and lead a healthy life.

Take Responsibility for Your Recovery

Better health is an outcome of a better self. Caring for our body and being responsible about our health can prevent the occurrence of a number of disorders. While healthcare providers and others can provide the needed guidance about health and disease, it is ultimately our own self that matters. Accepting the guidance provided and implementing the preventive steps is our own responsibility. We should be responsible about things we eat, the lifestyle we follow and self care.

An individual who care about his health can avoid the occurrence of a number of disorders associated with poor lifestyle. Following the guidelines provided by a doctor or other health care providers can hasten the recovery process in many disorders. One should be responsible and follow the recommendations about proper diet, intake of medicines and avoidance of harmful substances. Blaming others for bad health does not help one in anyway. It just leads to increase in the stress levels or depression levels. We should not always rely on others for continuous guidance, self responsibility must be practiced and encouraged.

Practicing Proper Breathing Techniques Can Improve Your Health Status

Breathing is one of the most important functions of our body. This process both helps in the intake of essential gases and the release of toxic gases. Breathing in supplies oxygen to our body while breathing out takes out harmful gases such as carbon dioxide from our body. The oxygen that we acquire when we breathe in is transferred on to the blood cells through the lungs. The blood cells enriched with oxygen move around the whole body and transfer oxygen to the cells and tissues. At the same time, blood collects carbon dioxide and releases into the lungs from where the harmful gases are exhaled from our body. This is a highly organized process that needs coordination between numerous factors.

Practicing proper breathing techniques can improve the health status of all the individuals. Oxygen is highly essential for the functioning of numerous organs and tissues and abnormal breathing can result in altered uptake and supply of oxygen. Reduced oxygen supply or impaired clearance of carbon dioxide can lead to accumulation of toxins in our body. High levels of toxins put undue stress on the body’s immune system which fails to clear them effectively resulting in several disorders.

Many of the alternative therapies practiced since the ancient times also stress on proper breathing. Breathing is given utmost importance in these therapies wherein individuals are taught about correct breathing techniques. Learning how to breathe in and out in a correct manner can have a beneficial effect on the general health.

Simple Relaxation Techniques: Deep Breathing, Muscle Relaxation, Meditation, Guided Imagery and Yoga

Stress as discussed earlier can suppress the immune system and can also have similar effects on other organs in our body. Organizing work and life can relieve stress to a great extent. Additionally, one can follow certain simple relaxation techniques to reduce stress and anxiety. Relaxation techniques for anxiety have been noted to have a calming effect on the mind and aids in faster healing. Several types of mind-body therapies that promote relaxation have been noted to be associated with better healing from medical conditions.

Some of the simple relaxation techniques that reduce stress and anxiety have been given below. A wide variety of relaxation therapies have been practiced across the world and some these can be practiced sitting at your work place.

Some of the key things you need to remember before practicing these relaxation techniques include:
  • Assign some amount of time every day for these techniques
  • Do not practice these techniques when feeling sleepy
  • Choose the one that suits you the best

Deep Breathing

This can serve both as a relaxing as well as a body cleansing method. It involves taking deep breaths gradually and then slowly releasing the breath through the mouth or nose. Care should be taken about sitting comfortably with the back kept straight at all times. If you have trouble sitting straight you can practice this technique while lying down on your back.

Muscle Relaxation

One of the changes we note when we are highly stressed is that the muscles become tense or quite rigid. Relaxing the muscles in a progressive manner can loosen up the muscles and help you to relax the body. This process is generally performed lying down on your back and when wearing loose clothing. The process begins with deep breathing and then focusing the attention to each body part (starting from the toes to the head) and relaxing them progressively.

Meditation

Meditation can be quite relaxing. This method requires one to focus on positive things in life while breathing deeply. Several types of meditation are being practiced all over the world. These techniques are mainly categorized as mindfulness meditation (focusing on an object while meditating) and transcendental meditation (chanting a word or a mantra).

Guided Imagery

Imagining being with the nature while sitting in a comfortable position and breathing deeply is referred to as guided imagery. Several types of CDs and videos are available to aid you in the process of guided imagery. This relaxation technique can be quite useful if you are able to concentrate and imagine things.

Yoga

Yoga has been practiced since many centuries and is a simple way to relax. However, you need proper guidance before you begin practicing yoga. Nevertheless, it is proven to be one of the best ways of relaxation that also improves the health status.
Numerous other techniques such as Tai Chi, aromatherapy, massage therapy, biofeedback, acupuncture and many more have also been tried as a method to relax the mind and the body. All these techniques are associated with varying amounts of success. You can try all these techniques and then begin to follow any one particular technique for greater relief. Some of these techniques may be contraindicated in the presence of medical disorders. It is always better to contact your healthcare provider before initiating such alternative therapies.

  • 1. Ballieux RE. The mind and the immune system. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics. 1994, 15(4): 387-395
  • 2. Harvard Mental Health Letter. The Mind and the Immune System - Part I. 2002
  • 3. Murphy J. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind. Wilder Publications, 2007
  • 4. Mayo NE, Fellows LK, Scott SC, Cameron J, Wood-Dauphinee S. A Longitudinal View of Apathy and Its Impact After Stroke. Stroke. 2009 Aug 27. [Epub ahead of print]
  • 5. Steptoe A, Wardle J. Positive affect and biological function in everyday life. Neurobiol Aging. 2005 Dec, 26 Suppl 1:108-12. Epub 2005 Oct 6.
  • 6. Dhabhar FS. Enhancing versus suppressive effects of stress on immune function: implications for immunoprotection and immunopathology. Neuroimmunomodulation. 2009, 16(5):300-17. Epub 2009 Jun 29
  • 7. Kielmann T, Huby G, Powell A, Sheikh A, Price D, Williams S, Pinnock H. From support to boundary: A qualitative study of the border between self-care and professional care. Patient Educ Couns. 2009 Aug 24. [Epub ahead of print]
  • 8. Loizzo J, Charlson M, Peterson J. A Program in Contemplative Self-Healing. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Aug, 1172 (1Longevity, Regeneration, and Optimal Health Integrating Eastern and Western Perspectives):123-147
  • 9. Bertisch SM, Wee CC, Phillips RS, McCarthy EP. Alternative mind-body therapies used by adults with medical conditions. J Psychosom Res. 2009 Jun, 66(6):511-9. Epub 2009 Mar 3
  • 10. Astin JA, Shapiro SL, Eisenberg DM, Forys KL. Mind-Body Medicine: State of the Science, Implications for Practice. J Am Board Fam Pract 2003, 16:131– 47
  • 11. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_relief_meditation_yoga_relaxation.htm
  • Photo courtesy of EricMagnuson on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/esm723/3336905639/
  • Photo courtesy of hartnupj on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/hartnupj/373178293/
  • Photo courtesy of Luna Di Rimmel on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/lunadirimmel/1411913488/sizes/m/in/photostream/