We can't seem to get away from stress can we?
The way we celebrate the holidays causes stress.
- Current events are stressful...and
- The cost of goods and services is going up
So, how are you sleeping? Do you feel a sense of panic? Do you have racing thoughts? Are any bad memories replaying themselves?
If so, your body is having a stress-response to the things that are causing fear or worry in you. According to the Good News Science Center, repeatedly consuming negative news stories is detrimental to your health. It keeps you in a constant state of alert, which is damaging to your body. It can lead to distrust and negative feelings about other people and communities.
You must counter the negative input. Be intentional about reading good literature, listen to uplifting podcasts, and find positive news. Look at the websites, MSN Good news, and the good news network.
When you feel upset, stressed, or angry your body is producing stress hormones. One way to bring this back into balance is exercise. Repeatedly research studies suggest that regular physical exercise is proven to help manage anxiety and stress Try taking a long walk in your neighborhood, hike a nature trail, or start a couch to 5k program. 30 minutes four times a week may be enough to take the edge off your stress response.
Researchers Laura Cousino Klein and Shelley Taylor suggest we tend-and-befriend. Meaning that we tend to the needs of others and be a friend to those in need. The tend-and-befriend response is a biological state engineered to reduce fear and increase hope. Ask yourself “What is one small thing I can do to help someone else feel better today?” Give this a try. You'll make yourself feel better and your community a kinder, friendlier place.
To counter your stress, try deep breathing, physical exercise, yoga, mindfulness, or journaling These activities help-your-body-regulate the stress hormones that have been released and help you feel more relaxed. Finding meaning during difficulty is a great way to counteract stress, so ask yourself, what are some ways I can use my special skills or talents to make a difference in the world?
Find ways to use your talents to positively impact your neighborhood and community. Ask... Who needs your help? Who needs your encouragement? Your stress and fear will be channeled in a new direction, and you'll build friendships and find more purpose in life.
-Jerry Strausbaugh, EdD, LPCCS, Executive Director