I like to preach that if you eat the right foods and make sure you’re getting enough nutrition, you will take care of most of what is wrong with you physically. I also recently wrote a blog post to explain my strong opinion that in this toxic day and age, one needs to have a measure of wealth in order to obtain optimum health. I will not retract those words; they still stand true.
However, several studies have shown that there is one thing that can make you healthier that is totally free. It may be even more predictive of health and longevity than taking excellent physical care of yourself.
It’s not exercise. It’s not living up on a mountain.
Stressed people are miserable.
Most Westerners are not happy. How do I know? People who are chronically and constantly stressed out are not happy. Oh, sure, they can have their happy moments. They might spend the occasional Sunday afternoon snuggling with a loved one or enjoying a relaxing stroll in a park on a warm afternoon. But these bouts of happiness are short-lived and can do nothing to neutralize the impact of chronic stress.
What kind of impact is that?
When you experience stress several times a day, your body ends up pouring out the fight-or-flight hormones, such as adrenaline. After several years of this, your adrenal glands become depleted and so you start feeling depleted. Your energy levels fall into the basement.
When you have to walk through life without energy, this causes even more stress, leading to a depressed immune system and more sluggish internal functions. It becomes a downward spiral.
In addition, this flood of chemicals acidifies the body’s internal fluids. The human body was designed to process the stress chemicals, provided they occur on occasion – say, once a week rather than seven times a day. However, when these chemicals are released into the system regularly and frequently, the body cannot do what it needs to do in order get its fluids back to a more neutral state. But it tries. It pulls minerals from the bones.
So stress can cause health challenges in another way: by causing mineral deficiencies, which is one of the major causes of disease.
Enter drugs and comfort food.
Is it any wonder that there are so many people who drink, smoke, and even get high on illicit drugs? Or that there are so many overweight people in our society? Of course, the latter has a lot to do with diet and exercise. But it also has to do with the fact that many people turn to food to try to feel better about themselves and about their lives.
I guess you could say that this is another, albeit more indirect, way that stress can kill.
Laid-back people live longer.
It’s old news that “Type A” personalities have a higher risk of a heart attack. Not all of us; I am one and my numbers show that my risk is very low. You see, an excellent diet and supplementation can counteract stress. 😉
However, people who let the problems of life roll of them like water off a duck’s back tend to live longer. They tend not to be as sick. When I was teaching Kindergarten, I had a student one year who couldn’t sit still if you’d threatened him with death…and he always seemed happy. When I scolded him – and it was often – he would appear properly chastised, but a few minutes later go back to being happy.
The kid had perfect attendance. And not because his mom sent him to school with a fever and such. No. This kid was healthy.
And a lesson to me that I am still trying to learn.
What is keeping you from being happy?
Now that you understand how intricately connected your health is with your happiness, what is standing in the way of your happiness? Are the people in your life negative? Do you hate your job? Are you, like me, a perfectionist and find it hard to live up to your own standards?
One of the major reasons for stress in people’s lives is money worries. Get rid of them by downloading your free copy of “The Money Monster” – and taking action on the information you learn.
Another reason is lack of trust – or belief – in God. If you think you’re all alone in this world, and there is nothing after this miserable, pathetic life, well no wonder you’re not happy!
Figure out why you are unhappy, then figure out how to begin to reverse your state of mind. You will be all the healthier for it.
To your success!