Wellness Report

Emotions & Your Health

The way your body responds to the way you think, feel and act is often called the "mind/body connection." When you are stressed, anxious or upset, your body tries to tell you that something isn't right. For example, high blood pressure or a stomach ulcer might develop after a particularly stressful event, such as the death of a loved one.

Poor emotional health can weaken your body's immune system—making you more likely to get colds and other infections during emotionally difficult times. Other contributing factors include not taking care of your health as well as you should when feeling stressed, anxious or upset. During stressful times, you may not feel like exercising, eating nutritious foods or taking medicine that your doctor prescribes.

Learning to manage your emotions while feeling stressed times requires practice. Coping skills for mental health wellness include:

  • Meditation and relaxation techniques — Deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation help to reduce stress levels by shifting your focus.
  • Alone time — Time for yourself allows you to escape the stress of life.
  • Physical activity — Moderate to high physical activity causes the body to release endorphins and provides stress relief.
  • Humor — Seeing the humor in a stressful situation can help to lighten the mood.
  • Friends and family — Having friends and family members who are willing to listen and support you through good and bad times reduces stress levels.
  • Pets — Pets help distract the mind from stressful thoughts. Studies show that pets are a calming influence in people's lives.
  • Sleep — Sleeping gives the body a chance to rest and repair itself after a long, stressful day.

For more information on how to use exercise for stress relief, contact Anthony Simone at (847) 535-7140 or asimone@nm.org.

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