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Nov 23

Finding Peace in the Midst of Chaos!

PEACE

Stress! Stress! Stress! Lets face it the holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year, but the good thing is – it does not have to be. Learning how to cope with stress in a positive manner can make all of the difference in truly having a JOYUS season!!!

There are different levels of stress, therefore an important option you can do for yourself is to think about at what level your stress has to get before you know you have to let go and let God. The truth of the matter is we really do not have complete control over what happens to us, but we do have control over how we respond to what happens in our life.  Therefore, finding ways to cope is essential in creating balance and finding peace in the midst of chaos.

The perfect solution to a stress free life is to first take a look at what may be creating an imbalance in your Spirit Soul & Body….. Discovering this well help aid you in knowing what will work best for your individual self. Stress affects the physical, mental and emotional well-being as it reacts to an event or event(s). Below is a list of a few suggestions that can help you discover what may work best for you. In addition, if you don’t apply action your efforts will be worthless.

Let’s get started with these 18 tips:

Drink plenty of water – water not only hydrates your body but your brain too.

Exercise; yoga, walking, jogging, zumba, you choose the exercise that best fits your body type.

Eat a balanced diet – sweet potatoes has beta-carotene, vitamins, fiber and potassium, dark green vegetables also has potassium known for calming, and turkey has L- Tryptophan an amino acid, known for claming.

Supplementation –Magnesium, Ester-C, B-Complex, Multi-vitamins, ashwaghanda, krill fish oil. Be sure they are of the best quality.

Meditate –meditating on Gods word will bring comfort and peace in the midst of chaos.

Prayer – opens up a means of communicating to a God that is willing and able to meet you where you are and one who can give you comfort in that place.

Rest – rest is different than sleep; rest is a time for you to let go of life issues and just be.

Sleep – A great natural supplement for insomnia is Melatonin. White, black or green tea have L-theanine; an amino acid which also has a relaxation effect. Our body and mind needs at least 7-8 hours of adequate sleep.

Listen to inspirational and motivational music – two of my favorite songs that always lifts my spirit is “I Smile” by Kirk Franklin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8SPwT3nQZ8

“Happy” by Pharrell Williams.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Sxv-sUYtM

Avoid negative people – unfortunately, especially during the holiday’s people tend to become nasty and negative. Don’t allow their negative attitudes spoil your JOY this holiday season. Instead lift them up to your fun and loving attitude instead of letting them drag you down to theirs.

Avoid self-medicating – alcohol is a popular beverage of choice during the season, however the facts are it is a depressant. So you may feel less stress for a period of time, but over all it will have a negative effect on your feel good neurotransmitters way beyond the holidays. So if you must drink, drink in moderation.

Relaxation techniques – breathing exercise is a great way to quickly gain control of your emotions even while you’re standing in line. Try visualization, progressive muscle relaxation techniques and short breathing exercises; they are all great ways to regain control over your emotions during a stressful moment. These techniques are effective tools while at rest and to use for achieving a good night sleep.

Set realistic goals – keep within your financial budget, manage your time wisely, make lists, set your priorities, write down the plan of action.  Don’t cave into pressure, just STICK to it!!!

Communication – practice effective communication with your family and friends when planning events, this will alleviate conflict if everyone is on the same page.

Remember – you do not have to attend every event – pick the event that is important to you and go to those events. Don’t worry about hurting feelings, if people really care about you they will understand.

Talk – If life becomes to stressful, talk to family, your pastor, friends, or seek the help of a professional. Always try supplementation of vitamins and nutrients first before medication.

GIVE – to your self, to others, and always remember to have an attitude of gratitude.

Have FUN!!!  Be PATIENT!!!  Show LOVE!!!  Count your BLESSINGS however great or small!!!

Remember the holidays are supposed to be enjoyed. Nothing is worth getting sick over.

There are more heart attacks and strokes during this time than any other time of the year.  Life Extension magazine describes stress as being “‘our leading health problem. 75-90% of all visits to primary care physicians are now related to the effects of stress.”[1] Stress causes cortisol levels to rise, death of neurons, increased inflammation (inflammation is the primary cause of chronic diseases) and disruption in cognitive functioning. “Chronically high cortisol levels are linked to brain damage, MRI has shown that the right side of the hippocampus area of the brain was found to be 8% smaller in PTSD patients,”1 and other stress related diagnoses.

Understandably, our bodies were originally designed to handle some stress; after all it is our stress mechanism which alerts us to dangerous situations. It helps our bodies and minds prepare for those types of situations. When stress is experienced over a long term it can have a significant negative impact. Many people are currently experiencing long term stress due to the state of the economy and the affect it is having on our personal lives.  The holiday season can add to this stress so it’s important to find ways this holiday season to combat stress in your life. Dr. Don Colbert gives one of his unusual prescriptions he often gives to his own patients who have long term stress. “One of the most unusual prescriptions I give to many of my patients is to have at least ten belly laughs a day. True laughter is one of the most powerful and natural healing methods without any side effects. Laughter lowers the stress hormone such as cortisol, however laughter increases the feel-good neurotransmitters such as serotonin. It keeps you squarely in the present moment. It helps you reframe and feel thankful and helps you to see negative events in a more positive light” [2]

 

The Benefits of Laughter
Physical Health Benefits:

  • Boosts immunity
  • Lowers stress hormones
  • Decreases pain
  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Prevents heart disease
Mental Health Benefits:

  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and fear
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Enhances resilience
Social Benefits:

  • Strengthens relationships
  • Attracts others to us
  • Enhances teamwork
  • Helps defuse conflict
  • Promotes group bonding

[3]

There is always a good comical holiday movie to watch with your family and friends so by all means go watch the movie – it will do your Spirit, Soul, & Body some good.

The holidays can add stress to our lives which can ultimately lead to depression. To avoid this emotional issue it is my hope that you will find at least a few of these tips to be helpful during this holiday season.  Its easy to forget the true meaning of the season – keep it simple, by spending time with family and friends. It’s an opportunity to show our love, commitment and appreciation to each other and by expressing that we are happy that the people in our lives are a part of our lives. It’s a time to give thanks and to be thankful. Of course, anytime is a good time to set an example for our children and to create an atmosphere of love, peace and joy within our home and work environments is a great way to express the true love in our hearts for each other.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are great opportunities to give the gift of time and love.  Remember, “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions,”[4] and neither does your families. Embrace where you are, but only in the knowing that you will get through this too. Life is way too short to be stressed. So instead of reacting to stress try acting blessed and you will instead experience a transformation of calmness and peace instead of chaos and stress this holiday season.  Simply remember when life gets unbearable, during this holiday season just stop – breathe and remember to take it one day at a time and don’t forget to SMILE, LAUGH. LOVE & HAVE FUN!!!

Laughter good medicine

References:

[1] Life Extension Retail Magazine. July/August 2012 edition. Telomeres shortened by

  chronic stress. p. 51-52.  

[2]  Colbert, D. (2006). The seven pillars of health: The natural way to better health for life.

Lake Mary, FL: Siloam. P.239

[3] Smith, M., & Segal, M. (2014). Laughter is the best medicine:  http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm. Retrieved: November 23, 2014.

[4] Bible. Luke 12:15, NIV. 1986. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

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