[ More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgement. More blessed, less stressed. More love less hate. ]
[ I can find God in nature, in animals, in birds and the environment. ~Pat Buckley ]
Yes it's true that we live in modern times where many of our needs can be satisfied with the click of a button or insta-connections with loved ones, and other technological advances. However along with super tech, and modern conveniences came changes in humanity. People are less patient, they have shorter attention spans less tolerant of just about anything. Conversations are cut short because of the inability to handle opposing opinions.
Although we're practically living in the Jetsons age, most of us are more stressed out than ever. Along with knowledge available at our fingertips comes the stress from this highway of information; of constant news [ mostly bad ], of opposing 'factual' information on just about everything. What ever happened to just being present in our lives and soaking up Vitamin F-Friends & Family, being able to spend even just a little time outdoors for much needed Vitamin D, and what about that good old Vitamin R-relaxation and enjoyment? Modern living has compartmentalized us, we're more isolated than ever...
We are malnourished, but in a much different way. Our hearts, and spirits are depleted. The reality is that while most of us agree that we all need a tech detox, actually only around 28 percent of of actually make the time to turn off and tune out, myself included! :() [ but I've been really making a concentrated effort as of late! LOL ]
[ Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.
~Psalms 55:17 ]
So, what's a person to do with all of this modern living which has brought even more stress into our lives; coupled with other stressors such as health issues and management, financial and familial dealings, work and other life toils.
We are a stronger people than we realize. Our Lord designed us for this life and our trials. Remember, many times we are being refined!
~ Isaiah 48:10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
Our life here will always have struggles, and the stronger we grow in the Lord, the better equipped we will be to handle the stressors in our lives. Residing in the peace that only God can provide isn't something easily explained, it's something one must experience for oneself through time in the Lord and his word.
[ Grab ya' sneaks and get moving!! ]
Move! Yes we hear this so often, but it's so necessary and so effective for stress reduction! It's a great way to blow off steam and the rewards physically as well as mentally are certainly worth it!! Physical movement doesn't have to be a full on workout [ esp. of you're short on time ], rockin' out to your favorite tunes gets that heart pumpin; not to mention the effects our favorite tunes have on our brains! [ stay tuned with us for a blog post in the near future on music and it's effects on our health!]
Let's get moving to give stress a knockout! :()
Check out! If only for a few minutes, each minute is a vitamin for the soul! It needn't be anything fancy, just a bit [or more if your have time!] of solitude. Time spent in gratitude change your attitude! :() If you can carve out 20 minutes or so it can make a real difference in heart rate, blood pressure, temperament, and overall sense of well being. Make meditation what you choose; just dive in and calm down! [ for more detailed information on deeper prayer and breath meditation see my blog post titled: Super Simple Meditation For Your Body & Soul! Under Healthy Living]. It is when we are quiet that we are primed to turn on our spiritual ears to listen to the Lord!
[ Laughing is one of the best stress release modalities! Silly for stress control! ]
[ Our wooden Aggravation game helps the LivingThruGrace Crew to unwind, and relax; or not! LOL There's a reason this game is called Aggravation! ]
[ Well, for some, playtime brings out that competitive spirit! ]
Get silly with it! We're all aware how good it feels to laugh, from a giggle to an all out breath stopping belly laugh, it's medicine for the soul! We live in serious times, where political correctness stifles conversations, old fashioned laughing and joking around. Don't allow our times to dictate how to have fun, get out there and be silly, be goofy, clown around! It's a sad sad sign of the times when so many kids have no clue as to how to play let alone adults. Let yourself re learn how to let loose and just goof off
( yes it's ok to do!), laugh, have a pillow fight, watch a comedy or go to a comedy club. Get out that actual scrabble board, buy a slinky; whatever your fun vibe is!!! Let's not allow Play to become a dying art!
[ At LivingThruGrace our homemade granola is low in sugar and high in healthy fats and omegas! ]
[ Got nuts?! LOL ]
Eat to live! Food is information, to nourish and sustain our whole body. B vitamins are a very important for stress reduction. Go nuts and grab a handful or sprinkle some into your favorite dishes!
Chocoholic? It's ok! Indulge ( just not overindulge...yeah, right! LOL) in this Magnesium rich treat. Chocolate's also high in Antioxidants which help lower stress hormone levels in the body! It's no wonder so many of us are drawn to this delish delight when we're stressed!
Healthy carbs like sweet potatoes, and whole grains are known to increase Serotonin levels a chemical mood booster in our body! Who doesn't feel better after reaching for a favorite carb ( even a not so healthy one, we just have to watch how much LOL! )
Healthy fats are loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids which reduce anxiety, and stress and help to improve moods. Nuts, coconuts, seeds, avocados, fish are all great sources of fatty acids that give us that extra help our brain and body need for managing stress.
Get Out!! LOL Get outdoors, and grab the kids too. As our society becomes more and more 'advanced' we're becoming less connected to the natural, to nature and the bounty of which God created for us here. I've been feeling this a lot lately, especially when the weather isn't 'asthma conducive', it can be a real drag! We were meant to absorb fresh air, sun, the healing benefits of the outdoors.
Let it out! So many of us tend to keep it all in, but bottled stress is a risk factor for a multitude of health probs like heart attack, back pain, and high blood pressure to name a few. Elevated hormone levels ( adrenaline and cortisol ); weaken our immune system. Unchecked emotions can trigger pre existing conditions!!
If you feel that you need help, please by all means reach out to professionals who are trained to assist during troubled times. Never be afraid to reach out!
[ You may be surprised to discover what creative endeavors lie inside you! ]
Write it out! So many people don't have anyone close enough to them to take or vent to. Journaling or simply writing out your feelings is a proven way to release emotions. Here is where is other forms of creative activities like writing and doodling
( yes doodling is actually an effective and creative way to release and think or let go!), drawing and any other art forms that you may enjoy or can discover can help to release stress by refocusing and shifting the mind and spirit.
~ Pen and paper are the road map to creative pathways!
[ All aboard who's going aboard!! ]
Pets help us beat the pits! Animals help disconnect from our current reality. Caring and playing ( and yes talking to and confessing to LOL what better/safer confidante than your pet?! ). Pets provide therapeutic and psychological wellbeing; lowering stress levels. A neurochemical, Oxytocin gets released when we're in the company of our animal family members, and this produces the joy we feel in their presence! Many people who don't have family or close friends find comfort in the company of animals.
[ This lil cutie is NOT happy about being left behind! :() ]
Our beloved animals can actually help to lower our blood pressure, if you own a pet that requires exercise it can help lower cholesterol, heart health, and all the good stuff from staying active!!
Pets are humanizing. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for life. ~ James Cromwell
[ Sometimes it takes an attitude adjustment! ]
[ Which one are you? ]
The altitude of our attitude can determine our latitude! Learning to see through the dark even if there's no clear picture on the other side can make a difference in how we handle stress. The glass half empty folks only keep themselves locked in a negativity loop. It isn't always easy, but with Faith, support, and some of these other factors mentioned above, we can learn how to think for our health!
[ Maybe has the right idea! ]
These are just some simple and perhaps obvious ways we can all adopt in our battle with daily stress. Sometimes the simple becomes forgotten, not obvious, and this is why I chose to write this blog post. We ALL need reminders of good stress management because as long as we're on this earth, there's not escaping it permanently!
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
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