Many diseases including obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, gastro oesophageal reflux disease, depression, anxiety, chronic pain and headaches are symptoms of stress or exacerbated by stress. Stress occurs when an individual’s perception or responses suggest that environmental demands tax or exceed his or her ability to cope.
Identifying and modifying the brain circuits that trigger maladaptive stress responses should result in overall health improvement and likely decrease reliance on medications, procedures and devices. Here are three simple yet powerful ways in which you can require your brain and body connection. Their simplicity will baffle you :
- Regular Exercise – Exercise reduces activation of our amygdala ad sympathetic nervous system, the parts of our brain and body that generate the stress response.
- Regular Meditation – Meditation decreases the size of our amygdala and increases grey matter density in our prefrontal cortex, the brain area responsible for concentration, decision making, judgement, and social interaction.
- Regular Elicitation of the Relaxation Response – It changes the expression of our genes in a way that makes is more resilient to stress and anxiety.
It is never too late and now scientific research can support this. During most of the 20th century the general consensus among neuroscientists was that brain structure was relatively immutable after a critical period during early childhood. You can never teach an old dog new tricks, so to speak but perhaps it is precisely beliefs such as this that have kept us stuck in the first place.