By Dr. Mark Pirtle
People are really catching on: stress is making us sick. It's estimated that 80% of all doctor visits are related to illnesses that arise from chronic stress. Yet, stress seems to be something that's out there in the world; like something we have no control over; something that's happening to us. What's harder to see is our own subtle, but significant, contribution to our stress overload.
Think of stress and emotion as similar. When we equate these two, we can see how the mind and body are connected through emotions. But what we don't often realize however is that the emotions—stresses—we feel are completely dependent on what we tell ourselves about the events in our life. The story we make up in our head makes all the difference in how we feel, cope, in the bio-chemicals that are created and released into our body, and maybe, whether or not we get sick.
We are powerless over the fact that lousy things arise in our lives. But the story we tell ourselves about those lousy things is precisely where we can gain some influence in attracting health or illness. Coping well does not mean living a completely stress-free life. Coping well means learning how to sit in the fire of emotions and not to make things worse. Learn to train your mind through meditation so you can quiet, or change the story that is cycling through your head. That way, you can become the conscious author of the story of your life.