21 WAYS TO RELIEVE STRESS
I did it again this morning….took a reading of my blood pressure. Ah, below 140/80…sign of a good weekend just enjoyed. Not always the case…then I take one of those oblong white things….just to be sure.
Cause…stress is "the silent killer."…..and I don't want to go, and if I have to, I don't think I would prefer silently.
Do you get stressed?
When you are experiencing tension or anger or stress, here are some suggestions for seeking relief. Try them all. Note the ones that work for you and use them over and over. Above all, avoid popping pills to reduce stress.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise dissipates life's tensions well. The threshold for aerobic value and overall wellbeing is :20 minutes of vigorous walking – the kind that ends up putting a glistening on your forehead.
- Give yourself permission to express your feelings with crying, or forceful speech. You'll usually feel better after letting it out.
Talk it out. Discuss the tensions with a friend or family member.
Breathe very slowly and more deeply. Concentrate on slow, deep breathing patterns counting to ten each time as you inhale & exhale completely.
Get a massage. This helps to relieve partial muscle contractions and induces relaxation. What a gift to give and receive to/from your married partner. Ask me about foot rubs.
Take a hot bath and just linger lazily in it.
Redirect your mind. Practice the art of pondering, thinking carefully, meditating on something of beauty.
Get in touch with friends. Relational time helps to buffer or alleviate stresses.
Take up a hobby that occupies your mind & takes you to new places.
If you are overweight, start to daily reduce your level of body fat.
Cut back on sugars and get your diet focused on healthy eating.
Practice relaxing. One by one, focus on systematically tensing and then deeply relaxing your muscles. 10-15 minutes will do wonders.
Worship. Put on some uplifting music, or if you can, play an instrument, and open up your soul to the greatness and sovereignty of God.
Reduce the noise all around you (turning stuff off?), slow down (if you keep up this scramble and rush you will arrive all of 2 minutes earlier) and let a quieter, softer, lights-down environment soothe your soul.
Journal to think a bit more clearly and treasure your day. Just this morning I wrote down all the good things that happened this weekend. It was a treasure in so many ways and I did not want to forget. If it is tension-producing stuff, I have found that just writing things down often helps with feeling a bit more in control and less panicked.
Make a list of all the things you are thankful for, big and small, distant and nearby, personal and global, recent and a long time ago. Review & add to often.
Soak yourself in Jesus…read the gospels a lot. He said: "I will give you rest." And what mental peace comes when we have scripture deeply enough within to be able to whisper it and let its security put arms around our hearts.
Affirm and give thanks to people – notes, cards, e-mails, gifts. Giving lifts the heaviness and tensions. "It IS better to give than to receive."
If you are tense because of a hurt or wrong done to you, be radical – just forgive them from your heart – not because you have to or want to but because "Christ has forgiven you" freely and completely. Give it completely to God. Hands off.
Read/watch/tell something funny. Push away the tensions with laughter… because the world is a lot bigger and God is a lot more loving and in control, than your tensions were trying to make you believe.
And the #1 choice of married men – make love to your wife!