Stress and HeartMath:
Reduce your Stress for Better Health
What is stress?
Stress is a term used to describe the wear and tear the body experiences in reaction to everyday tensions and pressures. Career and lifestyle changes, illness or injury are some of the common causes of stress. However, it's the emotional pressure and tension we feel in response to the little everyday hassles -rush hour traffic, waiting in line, and too many emails-that do the most damage.
How does stress affect health?
Stress affects people physically, mentally and emotionally. According to the American Institute of Stress,up to 90% of all health problems are related to stress. Too much stress can contribute to and agitate many health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, depression and sleep disorders.
How stressed are you?
Everyone responds to stress differently. Which of these warning signs do you experience?
*I feel overly tired or fatigued.
*I often am nervous, anxious or depressed.
*I have sleep problems.
*I have repeated headaches or minor aches and pains.
*I worry about job security, financial obligations or relationships.
What can you do about it?
The first step is to understand how stress works. It's not the events or situations that do the harm; it's how you respond to those events. More precisely, it's how you feel about them that determines whether you are stressed or not. Emotions, or feelings, have a powerful impact on the human body. Positive emotions like appreciation, care, and love not only feel good, they are good for you. They help your body's systems synchronize and work better.
How does it work?
When you intentionally shift to a positive emotion, heart rhythms immediately change. This shift creates a favorable cascade of neural, hormonal and biochemical events that benefit the entire body. The effects are both immediate and long lasting.
Research at the Institute of HeartMath has shown that emotions are reflected in the beat-to-beat changes in the heart's rhythms. This is called heart rate variability, or HRV. The analysis of HRV is recognized as a powerful, non-invasive way to measure nervous system dynamics. New clinical research identifies HRV as a key indicator of preventable stress and shows a relationship to a wide range of health problems.
When you're stressed, your body is out of sync. Typical negative emotions we feel when stressed like anger, frustration, anxiety and worry-lead to increased disorder in the heart's rhythms and in the nervous system. In contrast, positive emotions like joy, appreciation,c are and kindness create harmony in the heart's rhythms and the nervous system. Other bodily systems sync up to this rhythm, which scientists call coherence. Because coherence leads to more mental clarity, creativity and better problem solving abilities, it's easier to find solutions and better ways of handling stressful situations.
How do you increase coherence?
HeartMath has designed a system of tools and techniques to help you increase physiological coherence so you can prevent, manage and reverse the effects of too much stress. The emWave@ PC Stress Relief System accelerates your learning by enabling you to see your heart rhythms in real time on the computer screen. By correlating the patterns on the screen with the mental, emotional and physiological changes you experience while
practicing HeartMath techniques, you learn to find and maintain physiological coherence. Your goal is to increase the amount of coherence you are able to sustain in each
session. With practice you learn how to quickly change your reactions to stress, increase your energy and improve your overall health and well beinq.
Regular use of the HeartMath System has resulted in significant stress reduction benefits for people with ADD/ADHD, anger, anxiety and panic disorders, arrhythmias, asthma, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, digestive disorders, hypertension, and sleep disorders.
Contact your Licensed HeartMath Provider for more information.
HeartMath is a registered trademark of the Institute of HeartMath, emWave is a registered trademark of Quantum Intech, Inc.
Ann Linda Baldwin, PhD
For more information or to schedule an appointment please contact:
Peaceful Spirit Massage & Wellness Centers