Posted on Hello Wellness on December 22, 2010
Do you have a cold or back pain when you're really stressed? Does the talk of your ex give you a headache? And does your stomach churn when the person sitting next to you in a bus throws up? Your body responds to the way you think, feel and act. Often called the mind-body connection, when you are stressed, anxious, upset or disgusted, your body tries to tell you that something isn’t right.
Every cell is intelligent
Deepak Chopra, author and practitioner of mind-body medicine, once said, "Your body is a 3-D projection of your current state of mind. Your slightest shift of mood is picked up by every cell, which means that you do not think with your brain alone — all 50 trillion cells in your body actively share your thoughts. At the level of the quantum mechanical body, you are a constantly flowing river of intelligence. Correctly channelled, it has enormous power – the power to make us sick or well, depressed or joyful, sluggish or dynamic. The mind-body connection is the gateway to unlimited creativity and happiness.”
How does it really work?
While Chopra says it’s the collective “intelligence” of cells in the body that manifests into physical symptoms of health or disease, a study conducted in 2008 by scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles found a molecular mechanism behind the mind-body connection.
Every cell contains a tiny clock called a telomere, which shortens each time the cell divides. Short telomeres are linked to many human diseases, including HIV, osteoporosis, heart disease and ageing. Telomerase, an enzyme within the cell, keeps immune cells young by preserving their telomere length and ability to continue dividing.
The scientists found that the stress hormone cortisol suppresses immune cells' ability to activate their telomerase. This may explain why the cells of persons under chronic stress such as caregivers to chronically ill family members, astronauts, soldiers, air traffic controllers and people who have long daily commutes have shorter telomeres and makes them more susceptible to illness.
Improve your emotional health
Aches and pains, change in appetite, constipation, diarrhoea, dry mouth, fatigue, high blood pressure, insomnia, sexual problems, shortness of breath and weight gain or less are some symptoms that tell you that your emotional health is out of balance. Here’s how you can regain it:
- Express your feelings of stress, anxiety and sadness to people around you
- Don’t obsess about the problems at work, school or home that lead to negative feelings
- Be positive, accept change and keep things in perspective
- Meditate to bring your emotions into balance
- Eat healthy meals, get enough sleep and exercise to relieve the pent-up tension
Chopra says, “Relaxation is the prerequisite for that inner expansion that allows a person to express the source of inspiration and joy within." Don't just break down the walls, fly over them!