Did you know that according to the CDC, 90% of doctor visits are stress-related? That’s right, 90%!
In today’s day and especially in light of all the recent news, stress seems to only be rising as things seemingly get worse by the day, but the good news is that if we can find ways to manage our stress, our health should see drastic improvements!
Did you know your attitude has a great impact on your health and the stress you feel? This means it is possible to acknowledge the world around us, to see the pain, feel the grief of those hurting, read about the anger of those who are confused and frustrated, and yet find coping mechanisms to help us not succumb to that stress.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to decrease my stress level:
First, if reading the news isn’t part of your job requirement, you may find it helpful to take a break from social media, news sites, and TV in general. Feel free to let a spouse or relative know of your decision so they can let you know about major events, but save yourself from being swept into the sensationalism and hateful comments that seem to multiply on news articles.
Second, find ways to occupy your mind with things that will improve your mood. This may include listening to positive music (I’ve been enjoying this song lately!); meditating, and/or reading the Bible or another book that encourages you. I’ve included some thoughts on several books I’ve read recently in different blog posts – you can find some here and here and here if you’d like some ideas on where to start!
Third, as with all healthy habits, try to include some light exercise to keep your body functioning well! I’d suggest you start by just walking during the day. Walk as much as you can, which will vary from day to day, but just get your body moving! If the weather is pleasant and you can get some vitamin D outside while you walk, even better!
Fourth, be sure you’re eating foods that will nourish your body! We already covered things to help our mind and soul, but it is important to support our bodies well too. This time of year is ripe, literally, with fresh fruits and vegetables. Whether you grow your own, hit local farmers markets, or just buy the best quality you can find from the grocery store, be sure to include a wide variety to help your body deal with the stress you face. And don’t forget the protein! We prefer local grass-fed beef and organic free-range chicken. Start with what you can afford and work up from there. A healthy brain needs healthy fats, so good quality protein sources can support your mental health as well.
Lastly for this list, take a bath! You can add about half a cup each of Epsom salts and baking soda, and then add some pure essential oils like lavender to promote relaxation and detoxification. Make the bath as hot as you can stand, as you’ll want to sit in it for at least 20 minutes and up to 40 minutes, so you don’t want it to cool off too soon. Some other items we enjoy adding to our baths include this body wash, and this oil blend that is designed to help release the toxins and negative emotions. (All of those items are available at wholesale prices, so please let me know if you need help getting that discount!)
Do you find yourself fighting stress in your life a lot? I find it is a constant battle to be aware of what is going on in the world, the challenges we face, and the situations we must endure, but yet also to stay focused on something positive and make sure I’m doing all that I can do and not worrying about what is out of my control.
I hope these ideas help you too! What are your favorite ways to deal with stress?
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