Second to Nature Encourages Worrying Less to Boost Wellness
This month, Second to Nature discusses stress, anxiety, and your health. How can worrying less boost one’s wellness? You may be familiar with this concept already, but let’s take a holistic look at health and wellness.
Those with breast cancer, or any type of illness, may encounter the words, “Rest, Heal, Feel Better Soon.” On an intuitive level, we understand the importance of resting, doing as little as possible, and letting the body heal. Resting, sleeping, napping, and taking breaks, are nature’s way of shutting out the world and turning off stress and anxiety.
Curing What Ails Us, Starting with Lowering Stress
Feelings of stress and anxiety in the body produce a hormone called “cortisol.” It occurs naturally as part of our “flight or fight” response to some sort of worry. Your body can maintain a higher level of cortisol for as long as it senses imminent trouble or danger.
We manage cycles of stress every day without thinking much about this ‘flight or fight mode.’ However, our intelligent body keeps track of stress instinctively. Curing what ails us may take a concerted effort to mindfully reduce stress and anxiety.
Too Much of a Good Thing is Not Always a Good Thing
We may ignore our level of stress or how much of this stress hormone is in our system. It may be harder to ignore the elevated level of cortisol’s effects on our body. An imbalance or overabundance can lead to several physical problems that directly impact wellness:
- Increased Blood Sugar
- Heightened Memory and Attention
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Suppression of the Immune System
- Decreased Serotonin
- Decreased Sensitivity to Pain
Let’s connect the dots: Increased blood sugar, elevated attention, and blood pressure can provide a burst of energy. Our body responds this way naturally to help us manage an occasional threat. The adage, ‘too much of a good thing is not always good’ comes to mind. Being in this state constantly would cause problems for those with diabetes, high blood pressure, or other health challenges.
Your Wellness Can Start With Awareness and Addressing Stress
On the whole, when our body responds to stress with cortisol, it suppresses our immune system and adds to suffering. This heightened mental state can keep us from getting adequate sleep at night. The chemical serotonin decreases, as does one’s sensitivity to pain. Think of the impact of this when a loved one or a healthcare provider asks how you are feeling!
Dealing with stress and putting aside our ‘everyday’ worries can be a crucial part of our wellness routine. True, ‘everyone deals with stress,’ and has their share of woes and worries. Finding ways to relax by reducing and eliminating stress can have a significant, positive effect on your health and wellness.