Stress Management

by the Institute of HeartMath

What is Stress?

Stress is a term used to describe the wear and tear the body experiences in reaction to everyday tensions and pressures. Change, illness, injury or career and lifestyle changes, are common causes of stress. However, it’s the emotional pressure and tension we feel in response to the little everyday hassles —rush hour traffic, waiting in line and too many emails—that do the most damage

How Does Stress Affect Health?

Stress affects people physically, mentally and emotionally. According to the American Institute of Stress, up to 90% of all health problems are related to stress. Too much stress can contribute to and agitate many health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, depression and sleep disorders.

Dr. Vander Wielen BioStress is the number one word used in all medical journals. We decided to incorporate HeartMath into our patients’ treatment plans because we agree with the idea that healing will be limited unless stress is managed. The research supporting HeartMath’s effectiveness is very strong. HeartMath is also recommended by the Institute for Functional Medicine.

-Scott Vander Wielen, DC

What Can I Do About It?

The first step is to understand how stress works. It’s not the events or situations that do the harm, it’s how you respond to those events. More precisely, it’s how you feel about them that determine whether you are stressed or not.

Emotions, or feelings, have a powerful impact on the human body. Positive emotions like appreciation, care and love not only feel good, they are good for you. They help your body’s systems synchronize and work better, like a well-tuned car.

HeartMath’s research has shown when you intentionally shift to a positive emotion, heart rhythm immediately changes. This shift in heart rhythms creates a favorable cascade of neural, hormonal and biochemical events that benefit the entire body.

The effects are both immediate and long lasting.

How Does It Work?

When you’re stressed, your body is out of sync. Typical negative emotions we feel when stressed—like anger, frustration, anxiety and worry—lead to increased disorder in the heart’s rhythms and in the nervous system. In contrast, positive emotions like joy, appreciation, care and kindness create synchronization in the heart’s rhythms and the nervous system. Other bodily systems sync up to this rhythm creating a state which scientists call coherence. Because coherence leads to more mental clarity, creativity and better problem-solving abilities, it’s easier to find solutions and better ways of handling the stressful situation.

Client Education Brochure 2011

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can learn to effectively stop the negative effects stress is having on your life, please contact Christine or Heather at our office, or e-mail us.