High Tension and Health By LILLIAN R. CARQUE
All nature's children literally "take no thought for the morrow." They must trust a higher power; man alone often refuses to trust. Did you ever see flowers fume, fret, sigh and begrudge each other's place in the sun? Serenely and unobtrusively, they slowly open their souls to the sun and air. Seemingly without effort, they unfold their pure and bewitching charms of beauty, grace, of lingering fragrance and delicate colors. No anxious care bends their heads; sweet harmony always prevails. The birds in the air, too, are never "nervous." Majestically they wing heavenward to lofty altitudes; they fly far above the low level of human anxiety, caroling their songs of praise.
Equanimity or Tension.?
A chief characteristic of the present day social and commercial world is its high tension. Everybody seems keyed-up to the last notch. People are living at a fierce pace, and the pressure gauge of life registers dangerously near the bursting point. High arterial tension is intimately connected with numerous serious bodily ailments and certain grave physical catastrophes.
One specialist defined high blood pressure types as "the antithesis of the child." Refraining as they do from play or sports, the child in them dies early. They must learn to acquire more of the free play spirit, and the sportive hilarity which characterizes the games and pranks of children. Such a person's mental horizon is often narrowed within the range of a single objective, and this aim is pursued with grim desperation. Yet the resulting state of continuous tension may prevent the realization of that aim; and if high blood pressure is present it may prove to be just as fatal a combination as gasoline and lighted matches.
Another heart specialist prescribed a "sense of leisure" as indispensable to heart patients who want to live. He had no reference to idleness, but to untensed living.
All those who attain a ripe old age free from heart disease have one virtue in common, and that is equanimity --a habit of taking things for what they are really worth. They do not worry, grieve or become excited more than a reasonable conception of life warrants. Had many an inmate in our asylums known how to relax and to play, he would be enjoying mental health today. It is a fundamental concept of all mental experts that wholesome sanity is maintained by a well-balanced life where constructive work is intermingled with satisfying and recreating play.
The ripple of the clear mountain stream; the majestic fragrance of the rose; the beauty in the fiery colors of other flowers; the nerve-tonic of a walk by the seaside or a hike in the mountains; the free-gliding movements of the skier or skater; participation in song or dance and games; creative work in some art or craft; a social hour with friends--all serve to break the spell of those enemies of human happiness.
The cells of your body may refuse to select sufficient amounts of certain needed elements from the blood--silicon for example. Can your mental and emotional outlook be at fault?
As wealth and power are the Principal goals of unenlightened human ambition, many consider the time not spent in their pursuit …to be lost. Yet the final denouement culminating the career of many a great man in public life has been directly traced to an unsatisfied, overweening ambition. The coup de grace may follow as a fatal heart block, or stoppage, when an intense prolonged emotion--unmitigated by intervals of rest and recreation-finally reaches a climax of sufficient intensity to paralyze the nerve control.
The Suggestible Stomach
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." Thus all joyous emotions that are not foolishly excessive help to vitalize and improve the organs and all of the various vital processes upon which physical integrity, health and efficiency depend. Have you not observed the notoriously good digestion enjoyed by stomach sufferers on a holiday?
Foods ingested on such occasions with more or less impunity, would profoundly disturb their digestion at other times. For when the Mind is carefree, when good cheer, faith and hope dominate the mental attitude and nervous system, the Stomach glands do their best work and pour forth Copious and abundant juices, strong in digestive power. The stomach is probably
the most suggestible organ in the whole body, exceedingly susceptible to the slightest changes in the mental state.
Selectivity in Cells
The average nutritionist does not generally attribute the qualities of mind and life to the mineral kingdom, but modern science is rapidly moving forward to this point of view. Some of the more daring among scientific minds have expressed the opinion that the desire and will, emotions and feelings, awareness or consciousness of the mineral atoms differ only in degree from those of men. Indeed those latent states of consciousness prevailing in minerals harmonize with similar spiritual, mental, emotional-as well as will--impulses inherent in individuals harboring analogous thoughts or feelings.
That is why the cells pick from the blood certain chemical elements in greater proportion than other chemical elements. Thus there is greater cell selectivity of silicon from the blood in the presence of mental attitudes that are lighthearted, credulous, cheerful, playful, optimistic, laughter-loving, carefree, nonchalant, unconcerned and sometimes heedless. People in whom silicon is present in abundance are invariably charitable, kind, good tempered and almost larks in disposition.
Silicon insulator of nerve sheaths, prevents a too rapid radiation of bodily heat and electricity. The skin and the walls of all cells contain an appreciable amount of silicon; it gives the glossy finish to hair and the protective covering to nails, teeth, bones, nerves, also feathers and claws. In the vegetable kingdom, silicon is combined with cellulose and forms the skin of fruits and vegetables and the outer coats of cereals, to diminish the leakage of vital electricity sealed in foods. In peeling fruit and in demineralizing whole grains, we lose most of the silicon.
Many diseases of the blood and nervous system can be traced to a lack of silicon. It is often not so much a lack of silicon in the diet, or failure to consume silicon-rich foods, but rather a lack of assimilative power for this element. The cells are powerless to attract it, because the necessary spiritual thought-color rate of vibration and kindred brain pulsations high in the cerebrum are lacking. First and preeminently one should therefore cultivate an attitude as carefree as that of an innocent child. For laughter and light-heartedness are renowned as potent, though ludicrous, therapeutic weapons in breaking up the nervous tension of those melancholic subjects of chronic fear.
Laughter carries with it an irresistible propensity to dissipate those oppressive clouds of care, which darken the mental horizon. It helps the afflicted one to see the whimsical side of life, to view with not a little ridicule his own small misfortunes, weaknesses and foibles, as well as to overcome his critical attitude toward others by viewing other people's eccentricities with a modicum of good humor. It enables the sufferer to grasp the absurdity of ludicrous, incongruous situations, to make sport of them by catching and appreciating their witty aspects.
Many chronic complainers and semi-invalids have been relieved of all symptoms and pain by learning to see the humorous side of themselves, without a welling-up and over of thoughts of self-pity, and without becoming filled with weariness and with a sense of their own futility. The moment we laugh off bitterness and wounded vanity, we put aside our pride and dignity and no longer feel hurt or revengeful.
Hearty laughter is conducive to deeper oxygenation of the blood. It is an easier, pleasanter and more natural way of insuring a copious supply of oxygen, and is without the irksomeness of conscious effort, which accompanies breathing and other exercises taken to produce the same effects. Laughter empties the lungs and refills them with fresh air, accelerating the circulation and strengthening the heart. The raising and lowering excursions of the diaphragm, caused by laughter, act strongly upon the heart and lungs. The lungs are expanded and thoroughly ventilated; the heart is stimulated and invigorated.
Laughter exercises the muscles of the face, neck, chest and abdomen, and affects favorably the glands, blood vessels and nerves connected with the muscles involved; and laughter is a potent tonic in releasing those hormones of the glandular system that increase bodily vitality, impelling all life's processes to proceed at an accelerated pace.
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