Identifying and managing stress is a major key to physical, mental and emotional well-being.
“The healing process goes beyond traditional medicine,” says Angela Buttimer, LPC, a facilitator at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont. “I recommend taking a holistic approach and studying your environment, lifestyle, beliefs and relationships. This will help you gain a comprehensive vision of how each of these elements is playing into your health and wellness.”
Turning on your self-repair mechanisms
Buttimer explains that our bodies are equipped with innate self-repair mechanisms that have the power to heal. These mechanisms can be turned on and off based on your thoughts, beliefs and feelings. Research has shown when the body is in a state of relaxation, natural healing mechanisms are turned on. However, when the body is in a stressed state, healing mechanisms are turned off.
Identifying and reducing stress triggers
Identifying your stressors is an important step in taking control of your health. Once you have identified what is triggering your stress responses, it is time to think about how you might increase relaxation responses in your body.
“We each have about 50 stress responses each day,” says Buttimer. “Eating nutritious foods and exercising daily are helpful, but they are not enough to release these stressors. Therefore it is essential to engage in stress reduction programs. These can be different for every individual.”
Buttimer recommends various types of stress-reduction programs, including:
Creative outlets: writing, collage work, art, photography, drawing, scrapbooking, etc.
“Camaraderie and community connections also lie at the heart of healing. Many believe they are just as important as therapy and treatment. Bottom line: we have to learn how to move through the world with more peace and poise, and learn to respond to stress without getting stressed,” says Buttimer.
Angela’s husband Dennis Buttimer, also a facilitator at Cancer Wellness, adds, “When we integrate traditional medical technologies with research-based complementary therapies, we believe we are giving cancer patients the best opportunities in terms of quantity and quality of life.”
Learn more ways to reduce stress and improve your well-being.