It wasn’t too long ago that I was watching the news one night when I became very aware of how anxious it was making me feel. I turned it off and actually didn’t watch the news for a number of days. Instead, I start reading my inspirational books and going on walks. No, I’m not saying I never watch the news at all, but I would say I watch it less than three nights a week now. I’m more aware of what I’m listening to and how it’s making me feel inside my heart—and watching less news has made a huge difference. I’m much calmer!
Recently, I ran across this blog on stress by Dr. Henry Cloud. I love his material so I wanted to share it with you.
“When I was writing my book, Boundaries for Leaders, I reviewed the research on how stress affects the brain, and I was reminded again that we need to be stressed about how much stress we have. 🙂
Seriously, it affects so much: learning ability, memory, judgment, creativity, problem-solving, attention, relationships, etc. etc. The list goes on and on. So, just take a moment and ask yourself, “How stressed am I?” And then do something about it. Here are just a few tips to begin:
1. Get Connected: Remember, the most powerful stress reducer is positive connections with others. The level of stress hormones in the brain instantly goes down when you connect with someone with whom you share a positive connection. And, do it often.
2. Focus on what you can control—and not on what you cannot control—and then take action on the “control” list. After that, let it go.
3. Exercise…even if you just go for a walk. It matters!
4. Pray…prayer and meditation are HUGE…don’t crowd them out.
5. Work on a goal: Purposeful goal orientation is good for you. Set a goal for the hour, or the morning, or the day, and once done, check it off! And remember to start small.
6. Turn off the negative, worthless media and read something positive and inspirational, or something that engages your mind. Research has shown that the average mood of someone watching a sitcom is mildly depressed, while the mood of someone reading a good book is elevated and engaging.
7. Have fun!!! Do something that is fun and engages your strengths and passions. It is good for your brain.
8. Set some boundaries: Get some limits on whatever or whoever is causing you the stress. Get some space or limit the toxicity.
One closing thought today! Getting stress out of your life takes more than prayer alone. You must take action to make changes and stop doing whatever it is causing the stress. This is how you will learn to calm down in the way you handle stressors. Hope this motivates you to do something about the stress in your life. And always remember that the best part of your life is still in front of you.