Mental and Emotional Connection Between Disease and Cancer
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. Pr 23:7
Over the course of the last several years we have had the priviledge to work with many people will very many health issues. We have met people that have eaten poorly and gotten ill from violating health principles, but we have also met even more people that have lived very healthful lifestyles; plenty of exercise, sunshine and eaten very healthy, that ended up with health conditions. Many individuals of latter category even ended up with cancer.
These folks are usually confused as to why they got sick or why God might allow something like this to happen?
By learning to put mental and emotional stress in your life in the proper perspective you can prevent disease and even cancer. On a physiological level, doing this will result in less disruption to cortisol and stress induced hormones that negatively affect your body's health. Once you learn to balance the physical factors of sleep, diet and exercise along with the mental and emotional stresses in your life then you will begin to restore health in your body and mind. This is critical to the success in any alternative health restoration program.
So how does stress cause cancer?
To answer this, one must look at what the stress response does physiologically in the body. It is a fact that high stress is a major contributing factor to cancer and many other diseases. Hans Selye, the father of stress research, said there are two types of stress, distress and eustress. Distress is a longer, more damaging response which negatively affects the organs, glands and systems including the immune system. Eustress is a short term beneficial stimulus to the system. If you run up and down the stairs ten times you feel invigorated. Now if you run up and down the stairs one thousand times you are exhausted and totally drained, so eustress is health boosting whereas distress is health depleting.
The stress response is controlled by the brain via the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis or HPA axis. The hypothalamus, which has been called the brain of the brain, is the part of your brain that senses biochemical changes similar to the thermostat in your house. If certain biochemicals go high or low, it triggers the brain to respond. The hypothalamus does so by telling the master hormone gland, the pituitary, to send messages to the adrenal glands to secrete a hormone called cortisol. When cortisol is at the proper level it is anti-inflammatory and promotes health. When cortisol goes too high with acute stress or too low with chronic stress, it causes your immune and digestive systems to shut down, inflammation to increase, blood sugar to rise, hormones to go out of balance and bones to become osteoporotic. When cortisol stays high or low it predisposes you to cancer and many other diseases.
What causes cortisol to go out of balance?
Mental and emotional stress (distress), lack of total sleep (8-9.5 hours) and pre-midnight sleep (four hours is ideal), a diet high in sugar, starch or acid forming foods, and too little or too much exercise.
Cancer can form when cortisol becomes chronically high or low because adrenal exhaustion causes immune system suppression and your immune system is what keeps the individual cancer cells (which everyone has), from growing into colonies called tumors.
The most important stress management plan starts with nutrition, exercise, water, and getting enough sleep along with learning how to change your perception of the situations that are stressful in your life. When you change your perception the reality of the situation changes, stress starts to diminish and your body has an opportunity to heal. To reduce the mental and emotional distress one must come to the point of a completely surrendered spirit and eliminate spending time thinking about the "if only I would have" past or the "if only I could" future.
Joy, peace and love are all emotions that flow from God and these have power over guilt, fear, anxiety. When negative emotions crowd in upon the mind, we need to practice "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge" 2 Cor 10:5. Though it may seem unnatural at first, by not dwelling on the negative thought and repeating, out loud or silently, a few scriptures to counter the negative thoughts will eventually be less and less difficult to overcome.
If you had excruciating pain in your body, what does your mind say? "I am going to die if I do not get out of this pain". But is this really true? Can you endure the pain for one second? Contentment does not rely upon others or other things. We each have to learn that our happiness and contentment is a choice that we make and is dependent on only us. We can choice to be at peace, even in the midst of storm (a good example is Jesus sleeping on the boat during a terrible storm). This type of living begins to restore balance to your cortisol levels and immune system.