Did you know that your mindset will affect the health of your entire body? In critical times of stress from schedule and routine changes and uncertainty of the future, it is more important than ever before to focus on ways to remain positive and to keep our bodies healthy and thriving.
We are certainly hearing a whole lot about all that is going wrong and the negative in the world right now - but what about everything that is going right and the positive? There are many things that are beyond our control, but what we CAN control is our thoughts and attitudes. We have the power to create a positive mindset, and we at Tree of Life are here to support you in this by providing care in a safe environment for you and your family, as well as helping you find ways that you can stay healthy and well from home.
It is important to first have an understanding on how the brain and the nervous system handle stress. When a stressful event occurs, it can cause the body to create a sympathetic response in the nervous system. This response will then lead to an increase in our blood pressure, increase in inflammation, increase in our blood sugar levels, slow our sex drive, digestion, growth, cell immunity and white blood cell response, and, overall, cause us to have a harder time fighting off illness. Over time, chronic stress can decrease the size of our hippocampus, which is a part of our limbic system that plays an important role in learning and memory.
In the left prefrontal cortex of our brain, we produce a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that contributes to our motor control, vision, and many other cortical functions. Its big role in our body is to reduce the activity of neurons in the brain and central nervous system to increase relaxation, reduce stress, help create a calm and more balanced mood, alleviate pain, and boost quality and quantity of sleep. Excessive stress will greatly inhibit the production of GABA and lead to the issues listed in the above paragraph.
Controlling our mindset and choosing positivity and empowering thoughts over succumbing to anxiety fear is of utmost importance (in addition to adhering to sanitation and social distancing recommendations of course), now more than ever. If we focus on creating positive responses and positive mindsets, we are creating neuropathways in our brain. Our neuroplasticity, which is the ability of our brains to adapt and change, is dependent on this. This is a snowball effect - the better we manage stress now, the easier it is to do so in the future, and the healthier and more adaptable our minds and bodies will become!
What are your favorite ways to stay healthy and calm your mind? At Tree of Life, ours are prayer and expressing gratitude, bonding with our awesome patients and community, spending time with our families, exercising, and of course, getting our weekly chiropractic adjustments. Getting your nervous system adjusted creates motion and activity in the spine, and allows all of your body’s other systems to optimally function.
Let’s focus on these things we can control - making healthy choices for our mind and body! If you need anything, please reach out to us. If you’d like to schedule a New Patient exam to see how your nervous system is functioning, click **here**