Modern science is confirming what many of us have known for years. Current research into Cellular Biology and Bio-chemistry are clearly demonstrating that our thoughts and emotions directly impact on our physical body. Positive, happy thoughts cause our brain to produce neuro-peptides which are chemical messengers. We know these more commonly as endorphins which have receptor sites on our immune system. In other words, they have the ability to boost the activity of our immune system and therefore help to keep us well by fighting off disease and infections. Similarly, depressed states of mind and negative thinking produce their own chemical messengers that suppress our immune system and compromise our ability to stay well.
It would be naive to think that we could possible stay ‘UP’ all of the time because most of us live in a frantic, stress filled world. In other words, “Stuff happens!” When it does happen we need to be realistic and remember that we and we alone are responsible for the choices we make and we must consciously do what is necessary to counteract the negative “Stuff”.
The endorphins produced from the happy thoughts are infinitely more powerful than the negative and are hundreds of times more powerful than the drugs prescribed by your doctor and cost far less. They also remain in your blood stream for many days as distinct from the negatives which are short lived. The problem is that most of us get so snowed under we forget to give ourselves the lift we need.
There are many ways to release the “good” endorphins. Each of the following will flood your body will powerful self healing agents that cost nothing and are pleasant ways of taking care of your health and wellbeing, no matter what your age.
There is no need to go to the gym unless you want to or need the commitment. A pleasant walk either on your own or with friends is all it takes. Three or four walks a week will suffice, gradually building up the length, speed and incline of the walks. If you don’t like being out in nature then a walking machine will help.
Yoga and Tai Chi are excellent alternatives. Both are gentle and release enormous amounts of stress. Doing them in a group or joining in a session from TV or a video are just as effective. Yoga is not out of anyone’s capabilities. Even if you are wheel chair bound you can do modified yoga and the effects are just as good. Gradually, step by step your body and mind will respond and the effects will be felt. I am about to turn 60 and suffered a compressed fracture of the 3rd and 4th vertebrae in my neck at 21. I also damaged 5 other places in my spine. I was told I would never have children, play sport or have a normal life. I have done it all and Yoga and regular Chiropractic care have made that possible. 8 years ago I found it necessary to sit on my bed to put my shoes on and I now stand on my head daily and do the Five Rights, a series of yogic execises every day. They take all of 15 minutes a day. I feel better and more flexible than I did prior to my accident and I was an active participator in many sports.
2. Effective Rest
Most people awake as exhausted as they were when they went to sleep. Sleep is a powerful healing time but is not effective for many people. To learn to get the maximum benefit from sleep it is essential to learn to meditate. This is not a difficult process and has little to do with emptying the mind, which most find virtually impossible. We need to be able to meditate when sweeping the floor or walking or washing the dishes. It simply means focussing ones mind totally on whatever one is doing, even if it is just breathing. In fact that is the simplest and most effective way to meditate. These days there are electronic meditation systems which are most effective and relatively inexpensive. Holosync is one such system. On the other hand you could buy a meditation tape or CD and just listen to that as you go to sleep. 10 minutes of meditation is the equivalent of many hours of deep sleep.
3. Laughter and Humour
One of the most pleasant ways of flooding your system with endorphins is to enjoy a good laugh. If your life is not exactly a ball of fun, then watch a funny show or hire a funny movie or listen to the Goon show. Anything that makes you smile from the inside out. There are laughter workshops around as it is also recognised as an effective pain management technique.
A healthy sex life is always recommended. If one does not have a partner to share life with, then it is just as effective to look after yourself. It is well known that people have a glow about them after making love and that they seem to age better than those who have forgotten the joys of love making.
5. Child birth
Most of you reading this would know this option is long out of the question. What is good to remember however is that spending time with children or pets is not. Both cause the body to flood with feel good hormones because children and pets are unconditional, totally honest and revitalising to be around. Mind you there is usually a time limit on these things as we can all tire of them fairly quickly.
Remember, this is your body and even though we can get a few spare parts today, we have one body and one body only and it must be looked after in order to serve us well. If we commit to look after it to the best of our ability then we can enjoy a fulfilling, rewarding life and maintain our independence until well into our old age, when ever that might be.
Written by Bev Brock.
Bev Brock can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org