But it is important. And tricky.
Here's a thought:
My observations tell me that different people all over the world have different lifestyles and diets and most of them (that are adequately fed) are more healthy than Americans. Yet, Americans seem to think they can fix the health problem. They (and in "they", I mean "we") study and write articles and spend billions on doctor bills and meds that have horrible side effects and work so hard to pay the fees and dig for all the information that terrifies us about our environment and food and lack of exercise.....
and we end up with more doctor bills and meds and fears than in the first place. But at least we think we are smart.
There is a huge food industry. There is a big exercise industry. Some the products out there are great. Some are impossible. Some are simply not for me. Some are a scam.
But may I submit the suggestion that relaxing can be free, and that might be the thing we need to eliminate hundreds of diagnosis.
Note: I did not spend millions of dollars doing a study on this. Or any formal study at all.
I am not undermining the importance of exercise (which can be relaxing, by the way), and I am striving to eat as many whole foods as possible, but what I am saying is that the discussion of removing different types of stress is not as prevalent as what pill will fix what ailment. I believe that this should be the first step to a healthier lifestyle, and that diet and exercise should not contribute to our stress.
You may have heard someone say, "Worrying is a sin". Well, there are many verses in the Bible that speak on trusting and do not worry and have faith and pray. I also think that what we perceive as "knowledge" can become a god to us, (more important that God himself) which is clearly not God's plan. I believe God's instructions are there for our well being, so, with this in mind, and for the love of all the happy 90 something's out there....
here are a few ides to relax:
- Pay attention to yourself. What are some things that cause anxiety, tension, anger, or fear? Are they things that can be eliminated? For instance, if you are tense after watching the news, maybe you can stop watching it. I don't watch the news anymore, and I shut off the computer if I am having a sensitive day.
- Think about what you enjoy! Is it something you can incorporate into your day? Yes, it should be a priority, reasonably speaking.
- FORGIVE. God loves us and takes care of us (and has forgiven us), so there is no need to hold on to unforgiveness. Your body will thank you.
- Laugh daily.
- STOP finding out what is wrong with everyone else. Find and work with the positives in each person and every situation. By doing this, you may even assist in improving someone else's perspective.
- Give out a whole lot of grace.
- Listen to relaxing sounds.
- Volunteer. I know there is a study out there proving the health benefits to this somewhere. Plus millions of testimonies.
- Cut out complaining altogether. As well as the need to be right all the time. Once and a while someone will say to me, "you are so fortunate that your life is not filled with drama...or, you don't have as many problems..." My first reaction is to go down the list of difficult people and situations I encounter regularly, but that just stirs up negative emotions, fears, worries, and anger. The reason someone seems as though they don't have problems is due to the way they handle them, not the lack of them.
- In general, a good attitude can fix the majority of problems. Take the responsibility for your attitude and don't blame a bad one on anything outside of yourself.
- Smile often. Sing. Dance if you like to.
- Exalt God over your problems. They are no big deal to Him, and He loves you!
- Enjoy nature. The other day, I picked the buds off my mother's mums. Yes, in May. Gardening is so relaxing to me, but I got a kick out of this chore because this is who I saw:
A teeny praying mantis, jumping from leaf to leaf. He let me study him for a long time, turning his head all around and observing me and the rest of this big world.
- Don't miss the little things. Or great big things we look right past, like the sunset. We have a wealth of natural resources available, but sometimes ignore them, while starving for wondrous things that delight the soul.
- Take a walk or jog.
- And, if you are willing to spend a few bucks, get a massage, go on vacation, or a drive, or maid service.
It takes some work to relax, or in other words, "labor to rest".....and put energy into your constructive, unique purpose!
When I practice these things, I my troubles fade and depression dissolves. My body is refreshed. The joy of the Lord is my strength.