Lower cortisol with mindfulness

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The cost of not being present and aware is high these days.  Much of the population will spend their days sad, upset or resentful as they allow their brain to focus on things from the past.

Another section of the population will spend their days anxious, worried and wound up in knots as they constantly focus on a future that hasn’t yet arrived.

Both of these situations are a form of stress and a sign that our thoughts are out of balance with optimal mental and physical health.

Our stress response hormone – cortisol is released in the presence of stress.  It is supposed to release and then drop, but our modern world is bathing our bodies in this hormone more than we are supposed to be. This creates health problems and quality of life problems. Every single cell in your body is influenced by cortisol.

happyStress can make you fat, sick and grumpy – and in pain
Our body’s fascial system provides a communicative link between the brain and the body.  Every single organ, bone, joint, nerve and muscle is surrounded in this fascial ‘net’.

When we experience any sort of stress or trauma our body goes into a compensatory pattern for it. Your fascia begins to ‘look after you’ by changing its form, this can cause pain and restriction not only around the injury, but in other random places in your body.  This isn’t just physical stress, but also mental/emotional.

Fasical restrictions can really affect your quality of life.  Because it has an electrical conductivity it is receiving information from the world around you. Stressed, dehydrated and restricted fascia does not have the same ability to respond as nice hydrated free moving fascia.  Myofascial Release Therapy is how we break up these restrictions.

Fascial restriction can lower your resilience to stress.  So this creates quite a loop – stress creates the restriction and the restriction lowers your resiliance to more stress.

To get out of this loop, we practise mindfulness. Mindfulness is living in the now; not the past or future.

Some examples of being mindful:

  1. Listening in conversation instead of impatiently waiting for your turn to speak.
  2. Savoring every bite of that cake instead of inhaling it.
  3. Being grateful daily – even if you thought the day wasn’t great, there is always some  thing to be grateful for.
  4. Creating better solutions for things instead of “wishing the year was over”
  5. Being present with your body during massage, stretching, sex etc instead of zoning off into some future daydream.

The researched benefits of mindfulness are far reaching:  reduces stress, anxiety, and depression; enhances neuroendocrine (brain-hormone) and immune system function; fosters enhanced resilience to stress, produces a more optimal brain function, slows the cellular ageing process and increases energy and zest for life.  Improvements with memory, sense of self, empathy, compassion and introspection.

How often should we practise mindfulness?

All the time.  After all, what else do you have to do?  The past is past, and you can worry about future problems when they ACTUALLY happen.

www.advancephysio.co.nz

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