Kind of a scary title. But let’s cut right to it. Stress does actually kill. And if it doesn’t kill you directly, it certainly can dampen the well being of your spirit. Trust me on that one. We have ALL had a period of time in our lives whether it be short lived or chronic where we’ve been bombarded with the extra stresses of life. Some of these are day to day more manageable issues that we are able to balance and our bodies are equipped to handle. Some, eh, not so much.
There’s no getting away from stress. Not in today’s world. Just turn on the news and you start to sweat hearing about what’s going on in the world….like government shut downs, high unemployment rates, health issues, and natural disasters. Other than the health issues part, we really don’t have all that much control over what’s happening outside our immediate world. That’s why I love the little power button on the remote that shuts that noise off. Yes, it’s important to be informed; however, it can be down right depressing hearing all that negativity all the time. But even with our televisions off, we still manage to beat the drum over and over with what’s happening in our personal lives. Most of the issues that are causing us stress are either blown out of proportion or we truly do not have control over. Yet we keep hitting the replay button and reliving it day to day as if it’s happening right NOW.
Stress has had the ultimate effect on me. I’m writing this now because I feel it’s time for me to put it in its proper perspective. It’s much easier said than done. But the physical manifestation is very real. For many it shows up emotionally in the form of depression, anxiety, and relationship problems. But the physical stuff is there as well….strokes, heart attacks, weight gain/loss, digestive problems, skin issues, and yes, cancer as well.
Whatever it is is that it hits in you, it can truly kill your spirit and sense of well being. You start to not even recognize who you are anymore. All because of an event, or series of events, that already HAPPEN[ED]. Let me say that again. It already happened. It’s not happening NOW. It’s in the past. Done!! Finished!! And now you are left with the physical signs of your stress. We want so badly to right the wrong. By reliving it day to day, we hope that the situation will end differently. But it doesn’t. It never will. Only our outlook on it can change.
We all have our weak spots that stress goes after. For me, it’s my skin and digestive system. For years I had been under a chronic state of stress and for years I tried to clear up these physical issues by changing my diet and exercise habits. I changed everything I ate. I did more balancing kinds of workouts. I tried to sleep more. Take more supplements. The list goes on. Now granted, a good diet is very important. Unhealthy foods do cause a certain amount of undue stress on the body. But it was really about what was going on for me in my life. Problems both at work and at home took a major toll on me. My digestion was a wreck and my skin was broken out and had rashes. It was horrible trying to manage it. It actually caused me more stress. I took out all the foods that I thought were causing inflammation and stress on my body and NOTHING worked. The only thing left to eliminate was the situation…..the actual stress itself. Or at least how I process it.
We will never be able to eliminate stress completely from our lives. It’s a natural day to day process. Issues will come up with family members. There will be days where you hate your job. And there will be days where the driver next to you will test your patience. But how we manage the stress is another thing entirely. Some people find exercise to be beneficial. That’s my personal choice. But for someone who has been an avid fitness person the majority of my life, I found that the extra pounding away actually caused more damage on my body. Being in nature. The beach, a hike, or just kicking your feet in the water pool side. Just being outside. Reading, writing, and spending time with family and friends. LAUGHING has been proven to reduce stress hormones. Talk therapy, massages, yoga, or just pack it up and take a 3-day vacation either by yourself or with your family or friends. Remember this is to reduce stress….so choose wisely who you spend your stress free time with. I’ve gone on vacations and was more stressed out being away than being home. Deep breathing is something that you can do here and now and doesn’t cost you a penny.
I personally am finding that getting in touch with my spirituality has been so great for me. Never underestimate the power of prayer. Letting the Universe/God take your burdens from you really takes the pressure off of having to figure it all out. After all, you were not meant to suffer. You were meant to thrive and be happy.
There’s an old saying–“Life’s A Gift–That’s Why They Call It The Present.” And it’s so true. We cannot enjoy the gift of the present if we are busying ourselves with the past. Yes, we have issues to clean up. But do it, be done with it, and move forward. We don’t get do-overs in life. But we do have other opportunities to look forward to. If a relationship didn’t work out, allow yourself time to heal knowing that there are other opportunities for love in your life. If you are struggling to find work, keep plugging away, the opportunity is around the corner. If health and wellness are your sticky spot, there are coaches, trainers, and qualified professionals to help guide you to you place of feeling great.
We all have a past. But it’s time to put it where it belongs, close the door, and step unto the present. Your future is just moments away.
I’ve missed out on some time in my life. I don’t believe it necessarily to be a mistake. However, I see so clearly that it hasn’t gotten me anywhere. Whatever it is that has occurred for you in your life, it’s time to let it go and move forward and experience life as it’s happening. You’ll know you’ve moved on when the time comes and you do visit the past that you don’t stay there very long. It’s a quick trip down memory lane and then right back to the now.
Am I there yet? Heck NO!! But I’m a work in progress. My greatest blessing is the amazing support system I have. I have wonderful family, the best friends, and I know that God is keeping his eye on me. I’ll make mistakes, but I’m learning from them.
As you step into today, start releasing yesterday. Whatever it is–it already happened. Time to forgive, release, and move forward. You may just see that those physical ailments you experience will also be a thing of the past.
I’m always interested in hearing what you have to say. What is it that you do to decompress, release stress, stay centered, and thrive??