Monday, October 14, 2013

Defeat Stress- Our Most Treatable Health Hazard

 by Dr. Bernie Siegel     
(I give Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos permission to use and post my blog on her sites. Dr. Bernie Siegel.)  

My guest blogger today, as part of October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is Dr. Bernie Siegel. Stress during treatment is a constant challenge that, if left unaddressed,  can become overwhelming.  Overcoming that stress is a goal many patients and their families hope to obtain. Bernie, as he affectionately prefers to be called, has some wonderful advice and tips on how to defeat stress.  

“If you face the sunshine, you do not see the shadows.”
-Helen Keller

I know from experience how easy it is to focus on what is troubling you versus what heals and sustains you. To change that focus, we must be willing to make the effort to see through the darkness and find the light. When people ask me “How do you deal with stress?” I answer, “Drugs and alcohol.” Most people do know I am kidding. The truth is that one way I learned to handle stress is by not leaving anything unfinished. There are all kinds of healthy ways to lower or eliminate stress in your life. It is one of our potentially very dangerous health risks, but it is also our most curable when recognized and treated.

The workplace generates significant stress for many people. Since statistics tell us that on Monday mornings adults have more heart attacks, suicides, strokes and illnesses because of their work, it may be time to look for choices to help change how work is affecting your stress level. Maybe you can’t quit your job or leave a career you have built, but you can change how your mind controls your body’s reaction to what you experience as unrelenting stress on a daily basis. One powerful way to make this transformation is to find a CD to listen to regularly that will help you develop a deep sense of inner peace and wisdom. A calm mind has a much better chance of seeing an issue clearly and coming up with a remedy. I recommend a CD I created just for this purpose. The title is Finding Your True Self: Audible and Subliminal Affirmations to Develop Your Personal Sense of Inner Peace and Wisdom.  Scientific studies show that these subliminal affirmations are an easy and effective way to overcome mental hurdles and give yourself more health and happiness throughout your life. Choose a specific time and quiet, undisturbed place for your “therapy.” When you encounter stressful situations, you can call upon this inner peace immediately, stopping stress in its tracks.

Home life can be very stressful, too. When my wife and I were young parents of five children born within seven years, including twins, our children’s care and comfort were, of course, our top priorities. We just didn’t realize that as we acted out of love, caring for all aspects of our children’s needs, the resulting exhaustion had its effect on our immune systems and stress hormone levels. I ended up in the hospital with a severe staphylococcal infection and Bobbie developed multiple sclerosis. I was awakened to the fact that one cannot separate one’s health from one’s life.

Elisabeth-Kubler-RossAs my close friend, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, said quietly to me during one of her workshops after I expressed my anger over family problems I couldn’t fix and all the diseases I couldn’t cure, “You have needs too.” Those words have stayed with me and I share them with you now as an important truth to remember. So find what inspires you and fills not only your lungs with life but your every activity with the excitement that comes from having creative choices. By doing so you become a co-creator of your life and begin to realize that a perfect world would be meaningless, giving you no choices or possibilities.

We are so quick to resist any changes in our work, home, and other routines of life, perceiving them to be the cause of more stress to endure. We have the power to change our life and attitude, but if our mind tells us that change is the enemy and we are its helpless victims, our stress hormones rise to dangerous levels affecting all body systems. Change is not the enemy unless we see it as something we have no choice about except to react with increased stress. Our sense of powerlessness and even fear about change triggers a primitive chemical reaction in our bodies that raises stress hormones so that we can face the perceived threat. Constant assaults like these on the immune system leave us much less protected against real threats to overall health and well-being.

Yet far from being our enemy, change is really just a universal truth—everything in the universe is subject to change, and when we get on the universe’s schedule, many things begin to happen that are to our benefit. Resolve to eliminate stress! It is very harmful to our health, but it is one health hazard we all have the ability to cure. Start by finding your True Self and fill your mind with loving, supportive affirmations that you can call upon any time stress threatens your health and well-being. Whether through your work life, home life, or any other aspect of your life, do what you love and you are burning up, not out.

by Dr. Bernie Siegel 

Bernie's words concerning stress ring so true. The first step is to recognize, rather than ignore stress Stress is a sign to stressed that it is time for a much needed change. The next step is to move in the direction of that change.  Let Honesty with Self be your guide.  

Guest Bio: About Bernie: many, Dr. Bernard Siegel—or Bernie, as he prefers to be called—needs no introduction. He has touched many lives all over the Planet. In 1978, he reached a national and then international audience when he began talking about patient empowerment and the choice to live fully and die in peace. As a physician who has cared for and counseled innumerable people whose mortality has been threatened by illness, Bernie embraces a philosophy of living and dying that stands at the forefront of the medical ethics and spiritual issues our Society grapples with today. In May 2011, Bernie was honored by the Watkins Review of London, England, as one of the Top 20 Spiritually Influential Living People on the Planet. He continues to break new ground in the field of healing, supporting changes in medical education to “humanize” medical practice.

Bio: Bio: Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos, Intuitive Life Coach, survived three breast cancers missed by the medical community, wrote SURVIVING CANCERLAND: Intuitive Aspects of Healing (Cypress House, Jan 2014) websites: Surviving Cancerland & Access Your Inner Guide, Hosts Living Well Talk Radio , Cancer Q&A columnist CapeWomenOnlineMagazine, Dream Queen columnist- Wellness Woman 40 & Beyond, Your Dream Interpretation ,WakeUpWomen; R.A. BLOCH Cancer Foundation Hotline Counselor. Represented by Steve Allen Media