STOP. Simplify and foster an attitude of gratitude…
… not denying the stress, but moving through the challenge to the path of peace. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all He has done.
Take time to be “Still, and know that I am God”
When you prepare for the next day, plan meals and budget your time, you will feel less stress. I learned a little acronym many years ago (You can tell I like them). That acronym is OHIO (only handle it once). When I get a new bill or something that has a ‘due date’, I take care of it right then. This has reduced a tremendous amount of stress for me.
Rest and Re-frame.
Sometimes it really is as simple as stepping back and re-framing our perspective on a situation.
Exercise, energize, and enjoy living in the moment.
So what do I mean by that? This is the state of being continually mindfully present of your external and internal environment. Wow, that was a mouthful that I never thought obtainable. But as I have practiced this skill, it has gotten easier (notice I didn’t say easy). So does practice make perfect. No, but it can and will make your life much more pleasant. I lived for so long not being mindfully present (I’m going to do a whole blog on this subject!), that I have had to allow and teach myself how to just be quiet. It’s not a natural flow for my temperament.
Exercise and energize does not necessarily mean going to the gym and doing a cross-fit routine, although that can be great too. Sometimes it just means standing up and stretching. I have several strengthening routines that I do throughout the day that only take a few minutes. I can do a couple of sets per day fairly easily. Exercise is known to activate serotonin and endorphins which both help with sleep and pain.
SLEEP–Yes, you do need anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
It is best to make sure that sleep includes the hours between 8pm to 12am. Research has shown that the sleep you get during those hours is mostly made up of non-rem sleep, which is more restorative. Your cortisol (a stimulating hormone) is also at its lowest during these hours and begins to raise at approximately 2am.
SMILE. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”
There is some interesting research that shows happy people live an average of 7.5 to 10 years longer. Those who attend religious gatherings regularly live 7 to 14 years longer. Happiness and joy have been known to have heart protective capabilities. Happiness also strengthens the immune system.