depression and stress

Let Pain Be Your Teacher

With all the news on television, it appears as if there are those who are truly hurting in life. It is for this reason that this article is a must. Many times we want to either numb the pain or get rid of it because it can feel like too much. We are also wired to want to avoid pain and seek pleasure. Although it’s natural to want to avoid pain, pain is also natural and for a good reason. The good reason is that it is feedback.

“What kind of feedback?”, you may wonder. The kind of feedback will depend on where you are in life as well as the kind of pain that you are feeling. There are different degrees of pain and different kinds of pain and in order for you to know which one it is, it is important to go within yourself to find out.

There are emotional and mental pain and then there is physical pain. All these kinds of pain can be associated with the main pain that may have been ignored which is the spiritual pain. With emotional pain, I am referring to any sadness, anxiety, depression, anger, worry, desperation, among other things along these lines that one may feel. I consider them pain because when they are not addressed, they can paralyze and hinder you from living your everyday life.

With mental pain, I’m referring to two things: The first one is the physical symptoms that are associated with the emotional pain that one may feel. The physical symptoms may be consistent headaches, dizziness, or lightheadedness. The second include thoughts and perception. I include thoughts because our thoughts turn into emotions and actions and when the thoughts are not healthy ones, they can create havoc in our life. Our perception shapes the way we view and feel about the things around us and what happens to us and when the perception is not a healthy one, this can be disastrous to one’s well-being.

With physical pain, the list is very long to cover but some of them may include leg problems, high blood pressure due to stress, etc. One thing I must say is that if you feel any physical pain and it is consistent, please seek medical attention. If after seeking medical attention you don’t have any medical condition, then most likely what you’re feeling is psychosomatic symptoms.

Once the pain is there, what can one do about it? It’s easy to want to numb it by either going shopping, eating, drinking, partying, using drugs, among other things that one does to numb the pain. In today’s article, I would like to invite you to allow pain to be your teacher.

How do you allow pain to be your teacher?

emotional pain

 

  1. Admit to yourself that you feel pain. The first step to anything is to first recognize that something is going on. Notice how I didn’t write that something is wrong. I don’t write this because pain is there to advice you of something so this pain can’t be wrong. It’s just there to give you feedback and feedback is necessary so that changes can be made in order for things to be better. You can’t have a solution or answer without first recognizing and admitting that something is going on.
  2. Accept and embrace the pain. Accept and make friends with your pain. By doing this, you let go of the resistance. Holding on to resistance just make things worse and the pain persists.

How do you become friends with your pain?

mental [ain

Take that moment that you’re feeling that pain to be with yourself. If possible, take 10 minutes to yourself where you will not be disturbed. Take a deep breath in….and then breathe out. Do this a couple more times until you are relaxed. Place your hand on your chest or wherever you feel pain. Close your eyes if you have to but as you have your hand on your chest or wherever the pain is, ask yourself: “what do you want me to know?”; “why do you feel this way?”; “what is it that I am doing or not doing that you want me to be aware of?” Then wait to see if you get an answer. You may not get an answer right away but what you are doing by placing your hand on your chest, or wherever the pain is, and asking yourself these questions is that you are reconnecting with yourself. You are digging within for the answers that you need. You are digging within for your own wisdom.

For instance, if it’s anxiety you are feeling, ask yourself why you are feeling this way. Remind yourself that you are safe and loved. Ask it what it needs you to know and what should you be doing next. What this exercise that I am suggesting does is that it helps you reconnect with yourself because it is that connection with yourself that will lead you to greater well-being.

anxiety

Last year, I had pain in my knees for some odd reason. Turned out I had patella maltracking but I also questioned myself “how I got to that point?”. As I started digging deeper, I realized I had a lot of stress in my life and I was also struggling with some confidence issues in terms of how I was going to move forward.

With this exercise and article, I want to empower you to know that your body was meant to be healed. Your body is the vessel that your soul chose to reside in. Your pain is a reflection of something that is going on within you that calls your attention. So, I would like to encourage you to think about this pain for a minute. What kind of pain is it? Is it a pain of neglect, fear, lack, or worry? Allow the pain to speak to you and advice you as to what you need to be doing. The one thing to understand is that the soul is not separate from the body and anything that the soul is feeling, your body will feel by default.

The pain that you’re feeling will guide you to what area either within yourself or in your life you need to address. Allow that guidance to flow into your life. You have the best guidance system within you. Every time you feel any pain whether that is anxiety, sadness, depression, etc. all that pain is feedback from your soul and you must listen to that.

To end this article, I would like to encourage you to start viewing your pain from a perspective of your soul speaking to you through your vessel which is your body. Allow the pain to be your friend. It’s there to guide you, not hurt you. Place your hand on the area where the pain is and ask it questions. The point is to reconnect with yourself because it is there where your answers reside. You will notice as you do this that the pain tends to lessen and you are subconsciously empowering yourself. This empowerment, without you realizing it at first, will add greatly to your well-being.

Your pain can be a precious jewel if you allow it. Let pain be your teacher and show you what you need to be doing or going in life.


Aura Martinez

Aura Elena Martinez is a Wellness and Life Coach, Blogger and Writer, owner and founder of Live to the Max™

Aura Elena Martinez is a Wellness and Life Coach, Blogger and Writer, owner and founder of Live to the Max™/Viva al máximo™, who encourages others to live their fullest in every way, the way they are meant to be.

To be inspired or to contact Aura, visit http://www.auraemartinez.com/ or you can follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/AuraEMartinez, you can also follow her online radio show at https://blogtalkradio.com/AuraEMartinez  or you can follow on Instagram @AuraEMartinez.
Physical and mental health

Physical Fitness & Mental Health Connection for the Best You

It is a known fact that daily exercise is good for the body, but the recently discovered connection between physical and mental health might prove that exercise can be good for the mind as well.

Research has shown that exercise can help combat against mental ailments such as anxiety, ADHD, and depression. Likewise, exercise can help you:

  • sleep better,
  • improve your memory retention, and
  • improve your overall mood.

Although there is no set age to start becoming more physically active, it is best to engage in exercise and other physical activities as early as in your teens, according to medcarehealth.com.

After all, starting out early can help you grow and mature with a mind and a body that is ready for anything.

But, before I delve deep into the connection between mental and physical health, let’s start with a simple question:

What is health?

health lab mouseAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), a person who is free from disease or disability is not immediately considered healthy. Instead, you must demonstrate physical, mental, and social well-being in order to be considered truly healthy.

Great, but how are those connected?

The Canadian Mental Health Association lists 3 concrete associations that demonstrate the connection between physical and mental well-being:

  1. Poor mental health increases the risk for chronic physical conditions.
  2. Patients suffering from serious mental ailments are at a greater risk of suffering from chronic physical conditions.
  3. Finally, people suffering from chronic physical conditions might also develop mental illnesses in the future.

These associations show that there is indeed a connection between physical and mental health.

Though there might not be a proven way to prevent these chronic illnesses from developing, acknowledging the relationship between your mind and body can help you minimize potential risks.

What benefits can you reap from exercise?

exercise-ballThe primary reason why you might choose to engage in more physical activities is to trim your waistline or to lose some pounds. However, exercise can provide you with so much more.

In a study that aimed to answer the question:” how does physical health affect mental health?”, researchers discovered that elderly adults who engage in regular exercise and are physically fit tend to possess much larger hippocampi than other people in their age group.

Wait, what is hippocampi?

The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is responsible for your spatial memory. Maintaining this part of your brain even in your older years gives you a great advantage.

Does mental health affect physical ability?

Meanwhile, in a study conducted by researchers at the Bangor University in Wales, it was discovered that people who engaged in mentally draining activities before performing difficult exercise tests reached exhaustion much faster than those who were mentally relaxed prior to performing the physical task.

This study shows that one of the benefits of nurturing your mental well-being can also affect your physical strength and endurance.

Can exercise combat depression?

anxietyAccording to Jane Collingwood, author of The Relationship between Physical and Mental Health, those individuals suffering from depression often have worse physical health than those who are mentally healthy.

Likewise, patients suffering from chronic physical diseases are also likely to suffer from depression.

Just a little exercise goes a long way

Exercise, even in moderation, can greatly improve both the mental well-being and physical health of those suffering from depression.

Physical activity can help encourage positive changes in your brain such as a surge of endorphin or “feel good hormones”.

Regular exercise can also help distract you from any destructive or negative thoughts and allow you to find your inner peace.

Exercise relieves anxiety

While you might think that the physical benefits that you reap from exercise are the things that make you feel good, its effect on your mind are probably the more likely reason for your happy feelings.

Exercises such as weight training can ease the suffering of people who are living with anxiety by elevating their mood and reducing their feelings of irritability.

Remember: Even moderate daily exercise can contribute to improved long-term mental health.

Reaping the benefits of exercise

Benefits of exercise

photo by zirconicusso

As previously stated, you will not need to block off your entire day just to reap the mental and physical benefits of exercise. You will see a difference in 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.

Additionally, while it might take months before you see any significant physical changes after exercise, the mental boost that it can provide is almost instantaneous (Weir, 2011).

For this reason, it would be more beneficial if you learn to focus on how good you actually feel after your workout than to simply look for the physical rewards.

This is particularly important for patients who are suffering from stress or mild cases of depression and anxiety since focusing too much on your physical appearance would only worsen your condition.

Don’t delay another day: simple exercises to get started

One of the easiest ways to sneak some physical activities into your busy schedule is by taking a quick walk to or from your office. Exercise can enable your brain to better manage your stress levels.

The Key Takeaway: Sweating it out even from a brisk walk can help relieve you of your physical pain as well as make you feel more at peace.

Another easy way to get an energy boost is by hopping on a treadmill, jumping on a rebounder trampoline, or lifting a few weights at home or at the gym.

Regardless of your age, weight, or gender, all you really need is the motivation and determination to keep moving.

Exercise and mental health – the undeniable bond

There is a significant amount of proof that supports the connection between physical and mental health. Physically fit individuals are better able to handle stressful situations and those who are mentally healthy are able to handle more difficult physical tasks.

Therefore, it is important to nurture both your physical and mental health in order to reap all possible benefits for your mind and your body.

Want more great health information?

Visit the Rebounder Zone blog to learn more about how you can improve your mental and physical health today.

 

Sources

Breene, S. (2013). 13 Unexpected Benefits of Exercise. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://greatist.com/fitness/13-awesome-mental-health-benefits-exercise
Collingwood, J. (2016). The Relationship between Mental and Physical. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-relationship-between-mental-and-physical-health/
Canadian Mental Health Association. (2016). Connection between Mental and Physical Health. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://ontario.cmha.ca/mental-health/connection-between-mental-and-physical-health/
Grohol, J.Psy.D (2009).The Connection between Mental & Physical Health. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/02/25/the-connection-between-mental-physical-health/
N.A. (2014). 5 Ways Physical Health Impacts Mental Health. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://fitstar.com/5-ways-physical-health-impacts-mental-health/
N.A. (2016). Research Shows Connection between Mental Health and Physical Fitness. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.medcarehealth.com/health-problems-prevention/research-shows-connection-between-mental-health-and-physical-fitness-2/
Robinson, L., Segal, J. Ph.D., & Smith, M. M.A. (2016). The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise:The Exercise Prescription for Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and More. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/exercise-fitness/emotional-benefits-of-exercise.htm
Weir, K. (2011). The exercise effect. Vol 42, No. 11. P.48. Accessed on June 30, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise.aspx

Leonard Parker is a health blogger and owner of the eCommerce store, RebounderZone.com. Rebounder Zone offers rebounder trampolines, health equipment, and health information to mature adults.

Leonard is a graduate of Stanford University and has worked in a number of roles as a consultant and digital marketing specialist. Rebounder Zone was started because Leonard saw first hand how exercise and healthy living can change lives, and he wants to help others experience this fantastic feeling, too. For any inquiries, please contact Leonard at leonard(at)rebounderzone.com.

Man stressed out

What If I Told You Stress Is a Choice? Backed by Science

What if stress was a choice?

In this day and age, I would argue that for most of us stress is a choice most of the time. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it is a choice that is easy to make. Nor will many of us even know that and how they could choose differently. Stress, after all, is an automatic response of our body. Let me explain what I mean.

What is stress?

Stress is a physiological response of your body to react to a life or death situation. It is also often and very descriptively referred to as the “fight or flight” response.

Let’s say you are in a situation where your life is in imminent danger – a sabre-toothed tiger looking for a meal. What will happen is that your sympathetic nervous system kicks into action brewing up a biochemical cocktail to let your body know to get ready to either fight or flee. Your heart beat speeds up, your breathing becomes fast and shallow, and oxygen is being pumped into the muscles to get you ready. Other physical functions (digestion or repair) are not needed to get you out of that situation and so your body slows those functions down or stops them altogether. You don’t want to waste resources while your life needs saving. Continue reading