There is a total inter connection between your thoughts or your emotions on the one hand and your physical body on the other. The moment you frown or think of something that makes you feel sad, your white blood cells become less active. Smile and lift your mood, and your white blood cells become alert and active, ready to defend you against invading bacteria. Think of a happy couple in a long-term marriage. One of them dies and, quite commonly, the other develops pneumonia soon after, and may well die too. Their distress has reduced their immune function.
In her book ‘Molecules of Emotion’ Candace Pert has documented the connections that exist between the brain and the body. She has clearly described the neurotransmitters (brain molecules) that go to and act on specific receptor sites on the sells of the immune system and other parts of the body. In this way brain output has a direct impact on the way your body behaves.
There is almost no health problem that is not in some way affected, induced or aggravated by stressful or negative emotions and thoughts.
There are two types of stress. There is the stress that is overload, that involves having too much to do and too little time to do it. This can wear you out and lead to a variety of health problems. To achieve optimum health you may need to consider ways in which this overload can be reduced However there is a worse form of stress. That is the type where you feel helpless and hopeless about things you can’t change. Both forms of stress can exhaust your adrenal glands, but the latter can cause even more damage and is often experienced by people a year or two before they develop a serious degenerative and life-threatening disease.
In fact, at the mental and emotional level there is no such thing as a universal stress, something that would cause huge distress to everyone. There is only the individual’s response to the stressor and what they say to themselves about it.
If you cannot change the external stressor then it is important to change the way you respond to it. This is the focus of many destressing techniques. Many such techniques are described in my book ‘From Stress to Success’.