The Mental Stress Factor

This is part of a series of articles about The Stress Factor, from Instant Healing by Serge Kahili King.

Your slightest thought causes a slight physical response. Your strongest thoughts cause strong physical responses. Remembering, imagining, planning, speculating, wondering, meditating, and any other form of mental activity have corresponding physical effects.

That means your body automatically tries to carry out the physical equivalent of your thoughts by activating your nervous system, modifying your breathing pattern, altering your hormonal and other chemical output, and adjusting your muscle tension, among other things.

If you remember water skiing, the muscles you used when you did it twitch right now in resonance with the mental act of remembering. If you wish you could kick your boss in the rear, the muscles required to do that tense up in preparation for the act. The more abstract your thinking – that is, the less related your thinking is to any kind of physical action – the less response there is in your body. However, sustained abstract thinking accompanied by shallow breathing and an unchanging posture can result in unhealthy physical tension.

Criticism, denial, doubt, confusion, and conflicting beliefs or motivations all produce mental stress and can cause physical tension. Criticism, by itself, is similar to anger without the depth of emotion. When you criticize, you are experiencing an impulse to push, change, or hurt, and when the body tries to respond to the impulse, the effort produces physical tension.

Denial is a mental version of fear, with the same impulse to move away from something and the same kind of tension that results. Doubt occurs when ideas are in conflict, and confusion occurs when choices are in conflict.

When your stressful thoughts also generate stressful emotions, the effects of emotional stress are added to the effects of mental stress and physical tension is increased even more.

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