Continued from The Wellness Continuum Part 1:
Good mental health is not the norm in America today. Many Americans rely too heavily on drugs to help them cope with daily life. Drugs to help depression, anxiety, attention problems, body composition, are used by millions of Americans each year. Having control or your mental realm is essential for obtaining well being.
As a human being, we are face with many different stressors daily that are both good and bad. How we interpret and react to these stressors is directly related to our mental health. If, for example, a person gets upset for spilling milk on the couch and can’t seem to overcome the anger, then this person has an irrational operating system that is sensitive to even the little things in life. Those individuals with an irrational operating system are more inclined to develop premature disease and illness. Where as, a more rational person may be frustrated from spilling milk, but will not allow the event to overcome them and can continue on with the rest of the day. The more rational a person is, the better they are at controlling their level of stress, and subsequently likely not to develop premature disease or illness.
Stress can be defined as any event or circumstance that disrupts the balance of homeostasis within the body. Homeostasis is the balance of the systems of the body. The body systems all work synergistically to sustain human life, the heart is regulated to beat so fast, the lungs take in so much oxygen per minute, the brain produces electrical charges and releases hormones, the digestive system breaks down and absorbs nutrients, and muscles operate to move parts of the body. If for whatever reason these processes are disrupted causing one system to work harder than another, then the body will eventually get fatigued, or could shut down, which could lead to disease. For example, there is a part of the brain that controls anger called teh Amygalda. If the Amygalda is constantly under attack it will heat up causing the person to become more angry or even violent. If the person becomes more angry, chances are their heart rate and blood pressure has increased as well, disrupting homeostasis. If this continues frequently enough, the person could be a prime candidate for heart disease because too much stress is being placed on the heart.
In order to keep from having one system of the body working overtime it is essential to keep all the systems of teh body working synergistically together. To do this the person must be able to control their mental state. Getting “out of control” stimulates the systems of the body to work overtime and can be detrimental to ones health. Once mental health is out of balance then the other realms are in jeopardy. Good mental health is the key for keeping the body working efficiently.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed