By Dr. Bradley Nelson
New research shows that chronic stress can rewire the brain making it more susceptible to depression and anxiety. Other studies find that failing to maintain a positive outlook puts people at risk for elevated inflammation implicated in many health problems, including the top killers, heart disease and cancer.
So what can we do to reduce stress in our lives? I believe the answer lies in learning to identify and release unresolved emotions from negative life experiences, what I call trapped emotions.
Trapped emotions are the invisible cause of much suffering and illness, both physical and emotional. They can lower immune function and make the body more vulnerable to disease. They can create depression, anxiety and feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Trapped emotions often go unexpressed for years. Then some event can cause them to surface unexpectedly. They can cause you to make wrong assumptions, overact to innocent remarks and misinterpret behavior.They can damage relationships and lead you to react to stress in ways that are harmful to your health. Here are five simple things you can do to help you better respondto stressful situations and improve your mood and health:
1. Recognize trapped emotions are responsible for guiding (or misguiding) our choices on a daily basis - For example, if you have a trapped emotion of anger from a past event, you'll be more likely to become angry when future situations arise that may upset you. This is because part of your body is already resonating with anger, and is just waiting for someone (or something stressful) to light the fuse.
2. Listen to your body (and when necessary, say "no") - Don't volunteer to take on additional tasks if it interferes with your health, your family or your stress level - it won't be worth it.
3. Exercise daily - Too busy to work out? Look for ways to incorporate more activity into your routine. Find a way to work exercise into your daily chores. Challenge yourself to get the whole house cleaned in half the normal time, and you'll work up a sweat with all the scrubbing and running from room to room.
4. Eat right - When you go out to eat with friends, come prepared with stories to tell so you're talking more, and as a result, eating more slowly. Eat your salad first so you fill up on live food instead of the sugary and fattening stuff. Remember your body's needs and respect them.
5. Take a breather - If you find people you are with are making you feel stressed out, go outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air. Recognize your own feelings and analyze what the other person meant to say. Give them the benefit of the doubt - it's likely no offense was meant. If you aren't sure, ask for clarification, then respond appropriately, with kindness, love and forgiveness if you can.
Strive for a state of acceptance and understanding, even when others exhibit negative behavior. And don't forget to go easy on yourself too. Learning to be graceful with yourself and others will help you beat stressso you can live a longer, happier and healthier life.
About Dr. Bradley Nelson: Dr. Nelson has lectured internationally on the natural healing of chronic illness and successfully treated patients from across the US and Canada for more than 20 years. He has trained more than 2,500 practitioners worldwide on how to help people overcome unresolved anger, depression, anxiety, loneliness and other negative emotions and the physical symptoms associated them.
For more information please visit www.DrBradleyNelson.com and www.EmotionCode.TV
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