The Stress and Disease Connection (Part 1)

The association between stress and disease is colossal! The current estimate, by several researchers (and energy healers), suggests that as much as 85% of disease and illness is not only associated with stress—there is a causal relationship! Everything from the common cold to cancer (not to mention the tension headache) has an association with stress. Given the current news of the swine flu outbreak all over the world, remembering the stress and disease connection is timely (with the economic stress of the world, perhaps this is not to be unexpected?) Stress physiology can be complicated yet if we were to reduce it down to some basic facts these would be the ones to know: Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, is released from the adrenal gland (which sit atop your kidneys) and sets off a whole cascade of metabolic reactions for “fight or flight” also known as the stress response. We don’t know why, but prolonged Cortisol effects include destroying white blood cells, meaning that chronic stress negatively impacts one’s immune system. Interestingly, Cortisol is often given to recipients of organ transplants so their bodies won’t reject the new organ. Given the connection between stress and disease, it is incumbent upon us to take time each day to allow our bodies to return to homeostasis which is why relaxation techniques are so important. Regarding the flu situation here are a few other suggestions to maintain optimal health: 1) decrease your refined sugar intake, 2) increase natural sources of vitamin C, 3) get a good night’s sleep and 4) exercise regularly.

• Stress Tip for the Day:
Time for daily relaxation is essential in this day and age of rapid change (and migrating germs). Just sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing each morning for about 5 minutes is a great start to a habit of relaxation techniques. Close your eyes and place all of your attention on your breathing. If your mind wanders, simply bring your attention back to your breathing. For the next five minutes… think of nothing but inhaling and exhaling.

• Books Worth Noting:
Currently I am reading Gregg Braden’s book titled, Fractal Time, where he synthesizes much information about the year 2012 and what it means symbolically. Gregg pulls together many sources and gives the mystical date a very grounded approach (as does Daniel Pinchbeck in his book, 2012: The Return of Quetzacoatl).

• Photo of the Day:
A few summers ago I went on a 10 day wilderness kayak trip to the northwestern part of Vancouver Island (Brooks Penninsula). It was a remarkable trip on many levels including the eagles who came around during our smudging ceremonies. Her is one of my friends, Jack, taking time one morning to do his practice of meditation.

Speaking of friends… Dan Bretton… give me a call! Its been too long!

• Quote for the Day:
“Meditation… it’s not what you think.”

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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