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Health Tip: Managing Your Emotions

Stress physiology is intimately tied to how we think. The human neocortex is very large. It allow us to think and reason. Therefore, we can take a situation and dwell on it. When we do this, it becomes part of our physiology and initiates the stress cycle leading to inflammation and over-all feelings of physical dysfunction. The flip side of this is the ability to change how we think and alter our physiology in a positive direction.

What many of us may not realize is that emotions are a reaction to how we think. Not the other way around. In reading a book by Bob George titled, “Living Above Your Circumstances,” I learned that you can choose how to react to a situation.  He gives an example of a woman who was left by her high school sweetheart after they were engaged. She spent 20 years after her heart break in and out of institutions and with various medications to “control her emotions.” She was told that her life would be better if she could control her emotions. The doctors chose to do this with dangerous medications.  However, the root cause of her problem was her belief that her only chance at love and happiness had left her and that her life could only be better if she married this man.

Well, Bob helped her address the root cause of her feelings and she made a recovery. And she did it without medication and over a long period of time. But what a concept: covering up symptoms of a problem will not fix the cause.

Unfortunately, this thought pattern is exactly the message that modern medicine has conveyed as “health care.”  When in actuality, we do not have a mainstream system that actually helps us get healthy.  Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease. That is coming straight from the World Health Organization!

So how can you break the cycle of reactionary medicine?  Here are a few simple steps:

  • Learn to breath:  10 deep breaths will reset our stress response. It helps clear our minds of all thoughts (both positive & negative), so you can refocus your attention on rational thoughts instead of reacting to the emotions that are symptomatic of a poor thought pattern.
  • Learn to live above your circumstances. Circumstances are temporary. They do not define us and they should not dictate our emotions.  Whether you have been a victim of a crime or you have a terrible life threatening disease, don’t allow yourself to ask “what did I do to deserve this?” or “Why me?” These questions only lead to negative emotions. It’s ok to experience grief, worry and fear, but try not to dwell on them. Try to surround yourself with people who love you. Think about maximizing your time and energy and focus on enjoying your life. Because the reality is that any of us could die at any moment. Every moment we are alive is a gift.
  • Manage mechanical pain and inflammation: if you are in pain, your health is adversely affected. Pain also initiates the stress response and makes us susceptible to negative thought patterns.  Much of this pain originates in the spine.  Your doctor of chiropractic is trained to find these patterns and correct them.
  • Manage chemical pain and inflammation: Hidden food allergies & environmental toxins also initiate inflammation and pain. Knowledge of your environmental toxins is key. Know you work environment. Monitor your air quality. Drink water from reverse osmosis filters. Eliminate the sensitive 7 foods: dairy, wheat, sugar, corn, soy, eggs & peanuts.  Most holistic doctors utilize some sort of program for detoxification. Talk to your doctor about whole body detoxification and see if it might be right for you.

In  closing, the triune of health is physical, chemical and emotional well-being.  Upward Living Chiropractic Wellness seeks to nurture health by addressing these issues. If you would like to consult with Dr Lucas, call (805) 636-9729.  Mention this article and get a free 20 minute in-office consultation where you can discuss your health challenges and see if chiropractic care is right for you.

In health,