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Managing Stress

Studies have shown that when we are under stress that cortisol levels are raised and can cause many negative effects in our body. Weight gain, ashen appearance, dark circles under our eyes, loss of hair, our body’s repair processes are interrupted, increase risk of inflammation and infection. It can even bring on illnesses related to autoimmune deficiencies, cancer and high blood pressure.

Our bodies were not designed to live in a constant state of stress. It is a given that stress is unavoidable things like a relocation, loss of job, planning a wedding, a medical emergency. You can experience good and bad stress and on occasion our health should be able to give us the reserves we need to handle this.

If you are feeling frustrated, aggravated or dis-empowered, and if you catch yourself blaming others for your problems or complaining about their performance, you need to take a step back and reconnect with what is really going on inside of you. Is it them, is it a situation that requires change, or is it you?

If you are in a constant state of stress with an unhealthy work environment, a caregiver, abusive relationship, emotional pain …you can probably name these things in your own life that cause you to be in constant stress. Get a pad of paper and write all of things that are contributing to your stress level.

Unless you can name them you will not be able to change them. Evaluate these things in light of all the areas of your life to determine if they are things that you can change. If you could change them, what would you do differently? Embrace the positive and figure out how you can get rid of the negative – or change your perspective about the negative to make it a positive.

At times it may seem impossible and these choices may be difficult for you to make but if you desire optimal health it is necessary to take the time to figure this out make the changes necessary for you to regain your work/life priorities. Be encouraged over time you can make changes for the better.

Start by making your list.

Where do you feel like your life is out of control?

What things are you in control of that you feel good about?

What makes you feel bad?

What can you change?

What are things you cannot change?

  • Be heart healthy. Determine how you will use your energy.

  • Find time each day for a break. Breathing exercises, tea time, devotional, a walk, or a nap

  • Hit a round of golf

  • Get a massage

  • Stop negative thinking

  • Keep a log of things you are grateful for

  • If you need to …get counseling

  • Take a vacation

  • Fuel your body with good healthy food

  • Give an honest day’s work ….and then go home ~ enjoy all the areas of your life!

  • Be selective about what you allow in your life

  • Be selective about who you allow in your life

  • Get daily exercise

  • Learn the art of relaxation (everyone relaxes differently – find what helps you to “unwind”)

  • Get a full night’s sleep

  • Love yourself

  • Love your family

Don’t let your life be a constant “reaction” to everything around you. It is easier than you think to anticipate what lies ahead in these areas and make decisions about how you are going to “act” on them.

Some things may need to go – this is ok. Let go of the things of the past and determine how you want your future to be. Allow yourself to enter into the full joy of health and aliveness.

The choice is yours. Choose life!

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