Our perception and response to our environment and community plays influences our mindset, behavior, and perception about other people and the world we live in. We can be pessimistic, allowing gloom and negativity to haunt our every waking hour; or we can choose to be optimistic and see our stress and anxiety as normal human reaction to life’s challenges. But there is more to human response to stress and anxiety than just having a “bad day.” Our disposition not only affects our behavior but the state of our health, as well.
Extensive research has shown that people who are are suffering from depression and anxiety are at greater risk of having heart disease and other illnesses. Further studies also proved that people who are under extreme prolonged stress are more susceptible to infections like the flu and the viral cold.
Research has also found a link between an upbeat mental state and improved health, including lower blood pressure, reduced risk for heart disease, healthier weight, better blood sugar levels, and longer life.
In recent years, researches have reinforced the theory that the human mind plays a major role in influencing the way that our body works. Attitudes and emotions directly impact health and well-being. Being too negative in terms of one’s thoughts or emotions somehow weaken an individual’s immune system, which also confirms the mind-and-body link of health and well-being. The same study showed that people who are more optimistic have a 50% lower risk of untimely death than those who are pessimistic. Aside from a lower risk of premature death, having a positive attitude increases a person’s energy and ability to handle life’s difficulties. Having a positive attitude helps us deal with emotional pain and helps us attain peace, calm, and joy.
Although we cannot will ourselves to feel positive all the time, a number of techniques can be learned to help us reduce the impact of stress and anxiety. Using relaxation techniques based on Western, Eastern, and other traditional forms of meditation can help us reclaim a positive outlook. These techniques not only alleviate but also prevent psychological problems such as depression, anxiety attacks, aggression, and other stress-related illnesses like chronic pain, tension headaches, and hypertension.
The following are some of the useful methods that promote peace and relaxation:
Visual Imagery – It involves visualizing oneself in the midst of a soothing and peaceful scene— a forest, a beach, a stream, a lake, or being in the mountains. The important thing is that you visualize a scene that is beautiful and calm. Aside from picturing nature scenes in your head, you could also try recalling a special, happy moment in your life. The practice of visualization slows down the heart rate and breathing patterns.
Meditation – This requires concentration or focusing one’s thoughts. It is a often referred to as the act of “emptying one’s thoughts of all negative thoughts and emotions.” Meditation helps cultivate calmness and promotes the development of new and fresh insights into a problem and about life itself.
Exercise – A good relaxation therapy that is mixed with physical exercise is called isometric squeeze technique. This technique is used as part of a systematic desensitization therapy for people who suffer from anxiety and panic disorders. The technique entails the application of alternate tension and relaxation on the body’s 16 different muscle groups.
There are other practical steps towards building a more positive life. These steps include the following:
- Reduce Stress
- Get Plenty of Rest
- Get Organized
- Eat Well
By cultivating a more positive attitude and frame of mind, we can overcome life’s many challenges. Having a calm disposition entails the development of a coping mechanism that enables as to face life’s many obstacles and occasional heartaches. Through the application of stress management techniques and a commitment to overcome one’s personal problems, life can be more meaningful, worthwhile, and of course, happy as happy can be