No matter how devoted we are to optimising our diet, exercise and lifestyle… we cannot expect to achieve optimal brain and total body health if emotional issues stand in our way, as they cause us to feel stressed. Whenever we feel stressed, our adrenal and pituitary glands go into “flight or fight” mode and adrenaline, cortisol and dopamine enter our bloodstream. As a result, these substances can overload our brain, which results in a less than optimal health state for our brain cells. When released too frequently into our brain, cortisol in particular can be problematic, because it can lead to below par memory function. Too much cortisol in our bloodstream can also affect our mood and this can have knock-on-effects, which blights our lives. It leads us to suffer unnecessarily, and all too often, we seek unhealthy ways of dealing with it, which has consequences for us, and for those we love.
What we must do therefore, is to learn how to relax in a healthy way, so as to allow our bodies to return to a healthy balance. When we relax, our healthy brain chemicals function optimally and we benefit. Promoting a healthy balance and banishing cortisol is not difficult if we develop cortisol awareness and an effective relaxation strategy.
There are many techniques to choose from to help quiet our stress response and maintain a healthy balance of brain chemicals in our brain. Finding one that helps us to develop positive emotions and thoughts, so as to create a sense of inner peace, is the principal objective. While some people find straightforward means to relax, such as Qi Gong meditation and yoga, so as to maintain calm, keeping in mind that what works for your best friend may not be your ideal method. From my perspective, I need the quick fix, something now and on the spot!
I have recently been introduced to “Emotional Freedom Technique,” or EFT, and so I would like to share the benefits with my patients and those who read my blog. EFT is a form of psychological acupressure that is simple but can have positive results, due to its ability to help reduce negative emotions while instilling positive ones. The theory behind EFT is that lightly tapping with your fingertips along a special sequence of energy points can activate your body’s bioenergy within a few short minutes.
According to health experts that I respect, these energy points are being recognised by mainstream medicine, but I have no doubt that it is the countless people caught up in the hum-drum of everyday life, like myself, that will recognise the benefits most! We are all stressed, but we are often not fully aware of what stress drives us to, in order to cope! The combination of positive mental focus on our identified concerns, aided further by the physical stimulus to our body’s biochemistry, may help diminish our critical stress issue – whether it is frustration, fear, stress, cravings, guilt or emotional baggage.