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Don't Worry! Be Happy!

Posted by [email protected] on September 25, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Maybe it is time we all look a little closer at what Bob Marley was saying and take him to heart! “Don’t worry. Be happy!”

 

What is the alternative? How long does it take before you can feel your pulse quicken in the gridlock of rush hour traffic? Is it a habit or do you feel that you missed something if you do not subject yourself to the obligatory daily dose of turmoil of war, starvation, natural disaster and violent attacks served up by the nightly news? Oh, what about our new technological friends that keep you chained to the office 24-7; the blackberries and smart-phones?

 

Never have we felt more obligated to continue to produce and not let our foot off the throttle than the last few years. During this time of economic downturn, recession, depression or whatever you might call it; many employed American feel the pressure of the 11 million unemployed waiting for just one slip so they can take their place. We live our 21st Century lives in constant overdrive! Our human throttles are stuck. Our bodies are getting flooded with insulin, cortisol and adrenalin.

 

What are some of the effects of this stress? Stress can cause ulcers, hair loss, weakens the immune system, OCD, heart disease, heart attacks. In fact, chronic stress has been linked to up to 70% of illnesses. Many people think they just need to accept their anxiety and stress and push through it, but decades of medical research have demonstrated that not addressing the issue will eventually lead to diminished health.

What physically happens when your body goes into overdrive?

 

  • Your heart speeds up
  • Blood flow to your brain and muscles increases up to 400 percent
  • Your digestion stops (so it doesn't use up energy that's needed elsewhere)
  • Your muscle tension increases
  • You breathe faster, to bring more oxygen to your muscles

 

There are lots of ways to reduce stress - and it's important that everyone does so!

 

Michael J. Fox’s work with Parkinson’s disease, may be giving back more than we ever realized. The beloved actor displays such resilience, an article in USA Today claims that part of his work advocating on behalf of Parkinson’s disease research actually leads to his positive attitude. Literally, happiness leads to health!

 

Herbert Benson is a cardiologist and director emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI), and associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School. Benson said, “There are literally thousands of articles on how the mind and brain affect the body.”

 

Benson, author of 12 books, is founding president of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, a non-profit organization devoted to studying interactions between mind and body. He says “When a person can focus on something other than illness, it allows the body to take advantage of our own healing capacity. Hope is something beyond the illness and dedicating oneself to cures for the illness rather than dwelling on oneself and one’s illness gives purpose to life, and helps prevent the negative effects of stress while medical science does its work.”

 

Moving into fall and seeing nature prepare for the change of season. I’d like to challenge my readers to do the same. I believe we can live in the 21st Century and "be" more peaceful and effective in our work and personal lives. Join me in a journey of professional and personal development and make a choice to be happy!

 

In October and November, I’ll spend six weeks putting in place strategies and tactics to modify our language in the pursuit of happiness. Mind/body research documents that if we think it and say it, then we will feel it. Based on that, let’s work hard at building an arsenal of good thoughts to use in professional and personal arenas.

 

To join a discussion group, complete an interest form and list your available days and times for a weekly group conference call. Be prepared to participate in the group discussion board and to become the scientist and the student using your life as your own personal laboratory.

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