May 23, 2008
By: Alvaro Fernandez
We just received this very insightful essay on stress management and brain health written by Landon, a homeschooler and participant in Susan Hill’s writing workshop. Susan asked her students to write about implications of recent brain research.
Enjoy the article and the long weekend (at least here in the US) and Relax…
Stress Management for Your Brain Health
— By Landon N
Thousands and thousands of web-like neurons linked together form a spongy mass inside a skull. This mass, called the brain, is what controls the body and the thoughts that run threw it have a notable effect on the heath of an individual. In addition to thoughts, fear, stress, and emotions also have a strong effect on health. So then, health depends on more than just eating right and exercising; it depends on our mental state as well.
Thoughts have more power in the body then most people know. The brain and health are closely connected, and usually if one malfunctions, so does the other. In fact, some scientists have traced about 87 percent of illnesses to thoughts (Leaf 2007). Even if that percentage high, I do think that thoughts definitely have an effect on health. In addition to shaping our health, thoughts also shape our attitudes. As an ancient proverb says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. This means that if someone is constantly thinking negative thoughts, he will tend to be someone with poor health and vice versa. If not properly dealt with, bad thoughts can slowly build up and could cause damage to the brain. This is very important for people to know since it could help them to have better health and therefore a better life. In addition, if they knew this they would be spared the pain of being polluting with bad thoughts. That is why this is the most important thing for people to know about the brain. The public should know that the true cause of their illnesses could be nothing more than a buildup of bad thoughts over the years.
Fear, stress, and emotion are also directly linked to health and the brain. For example, fear starts as harmful thoughts, which are created in the brain, and which in turn, can cause stress. Also, anyone who has been afraid at one time or another knows that fear is stressful. The mouth gets dry, the hands get clammy, and the nerves get jumpy. Living in a continual state of fear is very unhealthy because it wears greatly on an individual’s health. So then, fear can be unhealthy because it causes stress, which is unhealthy in excessive measures. In some cases, overstressed children have a 30% higher chance of developing some kind of cancer in their early 30’s (Leaf 2007) Also, when someone is too stressed, the dendrites in the brain can actually shrink causing their mind to “go blank” (Leaf 2007). In addition, it has been found that stress can cause people to gain weight and take vital minerals from the bones. Emotions are also very important to the health of a person, and studies have shown that emotional pain can slowly turn into physical pain as well. People who are angry all the time can have many more health problems then someone who is not. And those who hold on to a past wrongs and refuse to forgive only hurts themselves both emotionally and physically. As the psalmist said, “Refrain from anger and turn away from wrath; do not fret–because it leads only to evil.” With this in mind, we should not hold grudges or be unforgiving; the only one hurt the one who holds the grudge. One can hide or bury his feelings and not deal with them, but be sure those buried emotions will come to the surface again when they don’t expect it. So many things are directly linked to the brain and health and they are important because they have a strong effect on our lives.
Though the brain is made up of thousands parts, each small thought has a consequence of its own. Stress, emotion, and fear also have an effect on the brain, and therefore the health. The most important concept for people to know about the brain is that thoughts affect health and that health is the guardian of life.
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