Stress Management and Physiology

In the 1980’s the study of mind-body medicine became a legitimate discipline following the release of Candace Perts book “Molecules of Emotion” where she released her findings on how neuropeptides and immune system cytokines act as the agents that integrated communication between the brain and the body.

“What we think, we become” is now widely accepted by the medical community as being true and not just a catchy saying.

Despite medical and scientific study now clearly showing there are direct links between how we perceive the world, what we think, the emotions we create and the state of wellness or disease in the body; for many people this is a new concept or one they still don’t yet grasp the full implications of.

We all have the ability to self manage our thinking and therefore affect our physical well being either for good or for ill. Yet many spend more time on learning how to operate their smart phone then they do learning how to manage their thinking.

When I talk about managing thinking I’m not talking about micro managing thoughts. It has been said that we have on average 70,000 thoughts per day although there is no definitive source for this statistic I can imagine a researcher in a white coat with a counter going “there’s another one ….oh and another” etc that would amount to 49 thoughts per minute. That would require a lot of micro managing.

What I’m talking about is first realising just how much thinking goes on unnoticed and secondly how much of an impact it must have on the physiology for good or for ill depending upon the quality of the thoughts. Becoming aware of this is the first step to doing something about it. Awareness is the first step to wellbeing.

Consider the impact a cascade of unnoticed negative thoughts has on the physiology. One negative thought is like a toxic snowflake that drifts down and if left alone will either drift off or melt away with little impact on the environment. If we give it too much attention another toxic snowflake joins it and eventually  the isolated snowflakes become a blizzard of toxic chemicals polluting the environment.

Managing thinking is first about awareness and then learning to allow the mind to slow down and go quiet so any negativity can dissipate. As the mind slows the body relaxes, then the molecules of emotion related to stress, flight and fight which if they occur over a prolonged period or in excessive quantities are toxic to the physiology, also have a chance to dissipate and be released from the body.

There are many ways to quieten the thinking and in no way does a quiet mind impair or restrict performance, many report that with a quiet mind they have greater clarity and insight and perform better.

Further information about how to quieten your mind & relax your body is included on the page that introduces my coaching course “The Wellbeing at Work Formula”.

>> Read next: Stress Management – These Challenging and Uncertain Times

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