Stress Less

I told you in an earlier post about having a regular stroke and multiple mini strokes last summer.  I did not fit any of the American profiles for stroke, and especially being so young (be nice), but I did fit the profiles of the Brits, Scandinavians, Japanese, and a few others – I had been experiencing excessive stress over a long period of time.  According to some experts, I was a time bomb waiting to happen.  And…I happened!

Since August, I have been learning to live with less stress and give to the Lord the stress I can’t change.  It is such a humongous learning curve for me.  And frankly, I don’t like it.  At all!  I must say, though, I can really feel a difference.  I still have crazy stress, but there is calm.  I’ve always felt peace, but now there is calm too.  (If that makes sense.)

Anyway, for those of you who are looking for some relief from stress, however that looks to you, here are my top 10 tips.  Some I am going gung ho at, and others, well, let’s just say I’m working on them (haha).

Here we go:

  1. Fresh air.  Go outside and breathe deeply
  2. Eat healthy, good, nutritious food
  3. Exercise
  4. Drink plenty of pure water
  5. Give of yourself to someone in need
  6. Think and speak the ‘good stuff’
  7. Talk it over with a trusted friend
  8. Learn to say, “No”
  9. Take time for yourself (including a good night’s sleep)
  10. Make Jesus your best friend. Spend quality and quantity time with Him.

Of course, each section could be a post all by itself, but this is a starting point.

The biggest difference, I find, happens when I take myself away to be alone.  Maybe just to another room, the tub, the back yard, or a park.  It’s in the quiet that I can think, and where I can hear my loving Heavenly Father speak to my spirit.  When my kids were little, I would head for the bath tub after dinner and be there a long time.  They would send messages to me under the door, but I was able to destress a lot.  To this day, I do the same thing and my young adult kids still slide ‘stuff’ under the door!

Are You A Stressed Mess?

Job insecurity, ill health, straining relationships, financial struggles, too busy and raising kids are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to issues that can cause stress in our lives.  And stress does not come alone.  With it comes; anxiety, depression, fear, anger, loneliness, tension, and in more extreme situations; drinking, pills, illegal substance abuse, pornography, cutting, violence and even suicide.

The list above sounds devastating enough, but the medical community adds even more bad news.  Stress can cause high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, stomach problems, skin diseases, and possibly plays a role in cancer.

According to Merriam Webster, stress means: constraining force or influence as a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.

Last year I had a severe headache (unusual for me), so I visited my Chiropractor for an adjustment to remedy the problem.  As the hydraulic bed was being slowly raised, I suddenly lost all vision in my left eye and was limited in the peripheral of the other.  Freaky!  The whole incident lasted no more than a minute but it would change my life.

The doctor came into my cubical in the emergency room, sat at my bedside and proceeded to tell me I had experienced a regular stroke in one side of the brain and multiple strokes in the other side.  You’ve heard people say that when they were given bad news they basically ‘checked out’.  Well, I had one of those moments.  The doctor’s lips were moving but I heard nothing.  It was quite surreal.

This major interruption has caused me to reevaluate just about everything in my life.  The one issue that reared its ugly head in most of my pondering was stress.

Jesus came that we might have life and experience that life to the fullest.  He does not give us fear, anxiety, confusion or more than we can handle.  He brings peace and joy, direction and hope…even in what could be stressful times.

Have you been stressed lately?  Give God control.  Trust Him with your ‘stuff’.  You can’t change what you can’t change…You would already have changed it by now!

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.  I Peter 5:7