Ah, stress. We all know the symptoms. The racing heartbeat, the constricting throat, the sweaty palms, the feelings of irritability, anxiousness, and overwhelm. Stress takes a tremendous toll on the body. Some are good and some bad. In today’s society with technology, work, home, family, etc. it’s sometimes easy to become stressed.
Stress keeps the cell from absorbing nutrition, oxygenation, and hydration. In some cases, you could almost overdose on a particular healthy nutrient, and the cells that need it will remain deficient. By turning the cell into growth mode, the nutrient will do the work it’s meant to do.
Cells in stress mode cause us to crave things that can sabotage our health, including junk foods. It can also cause depression, anger, and lead to drug and alcohol abuse.
Cortisol, the “stress hormone,” regulates many of the changes that occur in our body in response to stress. When cortisol levels are raised, due to too much stress, it can affect your metabolism as well as your chemical and emotional balance. It also causes fat to be stored instead of used.
1o Ways to Manage Stress
- Spiritual Triathlon – This is my personal method for keeping my focus throughout the day. Every morning when I wake up I spend 5 minutes saying all that I am grateful for, 5 minutes in prayer and 5 minutes reading my Bible or something inspirational.
- Schedule Downtime – Write it down, create a reminder on your smartphone, etc. Whatever works for you here but just do it. Be intentional and read a book, exercise, pray, etc.
- Tea Time – Pour yourself a cup of tea. Black or green herbal teas with chamomile are recommended. These teas have a relaxing effect on the body and lower blood pressure.
- Take a Deep Breath – Breath deeply several times and it will improve blood pressure.
- Just Say No! – Don’t spread yourself too thin. Don’t be afraid to say no and never commit to something you know you can’t follow through on. Create margin in your life.
- Take a Walk – Walk it off. You’ll find that just 5 minutes can make a significant impact on your stress level. A brisk walk will allow your body to expel excess adrenaline.
- Ask Why – You’re a busy person. Take the time to evaluate your time and ask yourself why you’re so busy. Account for your time for a week and see where the majority of your time is being spent. This will also create margin in your life.
- Cut Caffeine, Nicotine, and Alcohol – These are nothing but stimulants that will make you even edgier and stressed. Do yourself a favor and remove these toxic stress creators.
- Sleep – Staying up late to get more done robs you of your total productivity. It dulls your mind, increases stress, promotes weight gain and contributes to mood swings.
- Serve Someone Else – Invest time in others. Try volunteering at a soup kitchen, making meals for parents with a newborn baby or helping with home repairs for an elderly neighbor. Remind yourself that it’s not always all about you.
These are all common practices in my life that I use regularly to reduce the harmful effects of stress. Try incorporating them in yours!
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.