We know that health is three dimensional. Physical, mental, and social. Physical and mental health are connected. It is hard to have one without the other. When we’re physically unhealthy, it’s hard to stay positive mentally. When we’re mentally unhealthy, it can affect our bodies physically.
Meditation relieves stress
This is one reason that meditation is so important. Meditation does not have to be done days at a time. It does not require a secluded mountainside in the Himalayas. Meditation simply requires you to clear your mind. Sounds easy right? Try to remember the last time you let your mind relax. Try it right now, don’t think about anything for 30 seconds. If you found that difficult, focus on your breathing. This is a good trick to clear your mind of stressful thoughts. Close your eyes. Take slow deep breaths in and out. Focus on breathing with your stomach, not your chest. Start with one minute and work your way up from there. Do this each day to help relieve stress.
Our autonomic nervous system
Mental stress really is a silent killer. Our autonomic nervous system is split into two parts, parasympathetic and sympathetic. The parasympathetic or “rest and digest” system is dominant when we are relaxed. Stress causes our sympathetic or “fight or flight” system to take over. Our sympathetic nervous system is important in certain situations. If you were being chased by a bear, you would want your sympathetic nervous system firing on all cylinders. However, being in a sympathetic dominant state too often can be detrimental. Sympathetic activation of our adrenal glands causes them to release cortisol. Cortisol causes inflammatory processes throughout or bodies. Inflammation is very damaging to tissue throughout the body.
Activating our parasympathetic system
By meditating and focusing on deep breathing we can activate our parasympathetic system. Our parasympathetic nervous system allows us to digest food properly, allows damaged tissue in our bodies to heal, and promotes growth of healthy body systems. Our bodies expend less energy when in a parasympathetic state, so we feel less tired. Our heart rate slows down when controlled by the parasympathetic nervous system. Our parasympathetic nervous system helps promote healthy processes inside our bodies.
Improving your mental and physical health
Mental stressors are everywhere these days. We spend too much time in a sympathetic dominant state. Mental stress turns into physical disease through our sympathetic nervous system. Use this one-minute mediation technique daily to activate your parasympathetic nervous system and relive stress. Stress relief helps promote both mental and physical health.
Article written Dr. Joe Wallace, DC
Optimize Chiropractic specializes in family wellness care. We help every member of your family experience optimal physical, mental, and social performance throughout each stage of life. We help infants hit developmental milestones. We help children excel in the classroom and on the sports field. We provide care so people can continue to participate in the activities they love throughout their lifetime. Optimize Chiropractic will be opening its doors in Cornelius in January 2020.