Ugg, after a long weekend out of town, then an all day surf contest on Sunday , followed by a dinner party that went later than expected, I have spent all morning sorting through and getting on top of all the hospital bills that have come in from my daughter’s emergency episode last month.
This was the last thing I wanted to spend my time doing. I would have much rather starting writing this blog piece earlier but, "it is what it is." I am trying not to get anxious or stressed about all the high bills and to just ride it out, but gosh darn it…hospital bills are no fun!
What I really want to do…
Is dive into part 4 of my blog series on Long Life. I love discussing this and believe it is so important to take action to care for ourselves and tend to our wellness so we can live the longest, fullest, most impactful lives possible! So here we go….
Long Life Factor #4 - reducing stress
It is true that numerous studies confirm adult Americans to be under much more stress than a decade or two ago. But, stress levels have also escalated in children and teens.
This Is Not New News!
But, did you know that 98% of all physical, mental, and emotional issues are caused by stress? Stress is what causes aging and cellular damage and stress is also what causes the aging process to accelerate.
Who wants to get older earlier or faster?
Not me!!! Aging is a normal part of life, and stress is too. We cannot really escape stress these days.
We can certainly do things to reduce stress and manage it. And, the good news is that if we know what causes premature aging and causes aging to occur at a faster rate, then we know what to do about it.
All we need to do is manage the stress and reduce it!
The way to counteract stress, is to relax. Sounds simple enough, right?
The problem is, most people do not how how to relax and furthermore, do not know how to shift the body and mind into relaxation mode.
When our bodies are in relaxation mode, the immune system works perfectly, the body maintains balance, cells are not damaged, and everything works the way it was designed to work. It is necessary to be aware of our stress levels and do things that promote relaxation, both physically, mentally, and spiritually.
So, What to do?
I would like to share a few easy ways of reducing stress and getting the mind and body to relax.
1. Get away from the radiation of cell phones, computer screens, etc.. and go walk outside barefoot on the ground. This may sound ridiculous, but the radiation coming off of our screens is incredibly stressful to our physical bodies. There are underground currents in the earth that rebalance the ions in our bodies. This is so easy to do and it can help to reduce stress and take some strain off our bodies.
2. Exercise - everyone knows exercise is good for us. However, exercise is a sure fire way to release stress build up. More good news, is that it does not take hours and hours of hard core fitness to affect stress levels with exercise. In fact, studies have shown that extremely strenuous exercise has the opposite effect. Instead of releasing stress, it can cause more stress if we exercise too hard. It really only takes 15-20 min of exercise a day to use exercise as a healthy way of managing stress levels.
3. Be Still - (Ps. 46:10) “Be still and know that I am God.” Stillness, especially just sitting in the presence of God, has such profound affects on our health and wellness. And, the Bible has advised us in this practice all along.
Ha ha! God knows what he is talking about and knows what we need to be well in every way!
Being still does not mean reading the Bible, praying, doing a Bible study, or any of the things we typically “do” in a quiet time. Being still literally means to do nothing but let yourself be still. Do not do anything except pause and think about, focus on, and be present with God.
The amazing thing is that our minds and bodies go into relaxation when we do this. This is a free, profound, incredibly beneficial practice that anyone can work into their lives.
4. Take Time for Yourself - This is not selfish, self centered, or self focused. Taking care of yourself is a way of honoring yourself according to your true value and worth in God’s eyes, and loving yourself because He first loved you. When it's time to say no, and tend to yourself, you will be able to do more in the long run. I tell this to my clients all the time. “It is just like being on an airplane when the flight attendant tells us that if the oxygen mask drops down, you need to put it on yourself first before assisting your child.” Why, because if you do not tend to yourself, you will get depleted of what you need to stay operating and you will not be able to help others.
But I do want to leave you with this. If you want to live a long life and fulfill your Kingdom calling and purpose, there is some responsibility on our part. Managing and reducing mental, emotional, and physical stress will keep the aging process at a slower rate, maintain your health and wellness, and keep you relaxed enough to be able to face external sources of stress when they do come.
If you need help reducing emotional stress, please book a session with me and I will help you release harmful emotions, memories, images, lies, and past pain.
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