Stress: how to face the invisible killer?

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The psychological conditions of a person and what they experience over a period of time are the most important factors that affect the general health. Stress and troubled psychological conditions affect the levels of cortisol and inflammation levels in the human body, causing the feeling of exhaustion and tiredness.

In addition to that, it influences the cellular system stability and the performance of the main biological organs in the human body, such as the nervous system, digestive system, immune system and cellular system that directly increase the potentiality of cancer.

Stress, the hidden killer

Stress is the main cause of most mental and physical illnesses, which directly affect physical health through disruption of different hormone levels in the brain, intestines and digestion system. Through affecting the hormones within the human brain, it disturbs the signals coming and going from the brain to the rest of the body and vice versa.

Stress also affects psychological state through affecting the social interaction, communication and relationships. Especially since human beings are social creatures and live among their peers, therefore, stress is a hidden killer that cannot be detected and cannot be countered by typical medical intervention such as the use of medicine or even surgical procedures.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA has listed stress as a work environment hazard in addition to considering mental health as the fourth factor in worker safety and health after physical, financial and social factors. Also, OSHA Assures the importance of the psychological state of the employees at the work environment, above the other three factors.

What stress does to the body

Below we will discuss in a simplified manner the impact of stress and difficult psychological experiences on different systems of the human body.

1) The Nervous System

Stress affects the human body strongly through causing disturbance to the main engine of the body, which is the brain, for example, the amygdala region responsible for the escape or confrontation; these changes can alter the anatomical structure of the brain, especially at a younger age, at the stage of brain formation.

University of Columbia research shows that children who have experienced difficult conditions in their early years, their brain shape is quite different from children who had better conditions and positive emotions such as love and care.

2) Cardiovascular system

Stress increases the risk of heart diseases by increasing the potential of anxiety and depression.

According to the American Association of Cardiology, stress indirectly affects the heart health through high blood pressure, increased urge to smoke or disturbed eating habits.

Exposure to a difficult psychological sensation weakens the heart muscle due to increased secretion of cortisol. This phenomenon is called stress cardiomyopathy.

3) Digestive System

The digestive system is the system of the human body that is most closely related with the brain and the mind. “Brain communicates strongly with the gastrointestinal tract,” says Emeran Meyer, a specialist in digestive diseases at the University of California. It also monitors the analysis of samples of patients with intestinal disorder syndrome, suffering from stress and some mental illnesses such as depression.

4) The Body Cells

Human body cells are heavily affected by mental health.

Studies by Carnegie Mellon University researchers have shown that stress increases the risk of common colds and flue, besides affecting the wound healing process.

Also stress  affects the cell division rate, leading to splitting disorder and rising the potentiality of cancer.

By analyzing random samples of women who were cured of breast cancer, it was found that women who lived in good psychological conditions, their immune system and cellular system were quite stable and positive unlike their peers who suffered from difficult psychological conditions after the recovery process, some of them even had to go through the chemotherapy process again.

Disturbed Sleep

Stress affects human sleep levels as stress stimulates the release of cortisol, which regulates blood sugar levels during sleep and waking time.

People with depression and anxiety have elevated levels of cortisol, as well as disturbed hours of sleep, both in the case of normal hours (6-8) and less than normal, researchers report.

As we referred earlier in the feature, stress is not a clear or physical symptom that can be touched and monitored.  However, it is like an invisible killer that cannot be deterred by drugs – which have unlimited side effects – or surgical intervention.

The ancient practice of meditation

Meditation is one of the most ancient practices that mankind has done since the creation; it comes from the human’s search for the entity, the reason for the creation and the purpose of existence. Meditation has helped the mankind to discover the wisdom in the Universe and discover ourselves.

meditating young girl

Meditation is and will stay as an advantage of the human mind, and the only limit to the mind’s extremism.

Stress evolves when you think of the past by a memory or painful feelings that ended or no longer exist or when you think about an event that hasn’t happened yet expecting what you wish for in the future. Meanwhile, it is ignoring the present moment and what it contains. 

Unlimited number of benefits

The global interest in meditation is increasing due to the positive impact on the human health and world peace. There are unlimited number of benefits from meditation practice. Every day researchers  figure out a new benefit and application of meditation. The National Institute for Complementary and Integrative Health of the American Institute of Health has included a number of benefits on the importance of meditation and the most important results for the human body.

1. Reduce your chances of developing cancer, reduce symptoms of fatigue, stress and mood swings;

2. Reduce high blood pressure;

3. Help support women’s health;

4. Reduce exposure to stress and anxiety;

5. Reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome;

6. Help reduce smoking habit;

7. Help reduce the severity of hyperactivity and behavioral disorders;

8. It is a safe way to contribute to a healthy life.

Technique of meditation

Meditation helps focusing the mind on the present moment only. It helps letting the past pass as we cannot change it, yet we can learn from what happened in the past. It also helps leaving the future aside because worrying and thinking about it will not speed things up. Hence, the importance of the presence makes the mind exist here and now through meditation. 

Meditation does not need to be prepared in advance, nor it requires special settings. You only need a quiet place and a comfortable posture to sit and breathe gently, with your eyes closed peacefully. This is one of the various techniques of meditation which is breathing. You can exercise this technique daily for five minutes before going to bed, and it will have a positive impact on your physical and psychological well-being; it will also give a sense of peace and tranquility.

You can join the 42-day self-development program on Peace Revolution  platform, and meditate daily. Do not forget to share your opinions and experiences during your inner peace time (IPT) aka meditation. Live peacefully and happily!

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