When we allow ourselves to remain in constantly activated high stress, we are impacting our health on many levels. That stress maintained over time has an impact on your pocket book.
Many health costs experienced today can find their roots in long standing stress levels. But we can lower those levels when we become aware of those things that trigger unhealthy stress.
Several years ago, I put together a Wellness workshop and compiled facts and figures about stress at that time. Although these statistics are several years old, they still give us a picture of some of the costs associated with stress. Here are some of those statistics:
Life will give us those Ah-Ha moments where we are able to get a glimpse of a larger truth that can forever alter our thinking. But we need to be ready to recognize them.
I was given such an Ah-Ha moment many years ago that changed my thinking forever.
We were preparing for a summer camping trip with the kids. I was doing loads of laundry in preparation for leaving the next day. But the job was hindered by a water pressure problem. For some reason the water filling my laundry tub was so slow it seemed to take forever.
It was one of the things on my husband’s to do list.
I believe in setting goals, hard work, and having a never give up attitude. I love to read stories about people who have applied these attributes to their life.
I was just finishing the new book, “Shoe Dog”, written by Phil Knight when the funeral of Mohammed Ali was held. People who spoke at his funeral, talked about Ali’s determination, persistence and never give up attitude. Despite setbacks and unfriendly circumstances he never gave up.
I was surprised at how similar the two men, Phil Knight and Ali were.
Neither man let obstacles and circumstances keep them from accomplishing their goals. They both fought with their last breath of energy, succeeded and then gave back to others.
Years ago, when I was helping design and write a ten week class on living with chronic illness for a large HMO, I designed the following handout. I shared it in a blog in 2013. I share it with you again.
LETTING GO – TAKING CONTROL
“If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.” Victor Frankl
To experience freedom and create meaning in our lives, we must “let go” of the past while taking “control” of the present and future.
June is the month for graduations and we celebrate with family and friends who have completed a course of study and are prepared to receive their recognition of work done.
Graduation means you have accomplished something – you have spent time studying and learning and are now ready to apply that learning.
But your education has just begun. You are leaving one institution of learning for another.
The University of Life is less structured; you don’t meet at a particular time of day or have a specific text book of study. The options for study are endless.
If you love to learn become a teacher
I loved to teach. Teaching challenged and expanded my knowledge base. Because the classes I taught in psychology and life development were captivating subjects to me, I could share that enthusiasm with my students as I thought of ways to make the subject relevant for their lives.
As I listen to the words spoken in ceremonies on Memorial Day I am reminded of what it means to have a military that has sacrificed so much for us and for others around the world. We take it so for granted.
Courage – Sacrifice – Bravery – Valor
They aren’t just words. They represent actions taken that has put their lives on the line.
In July, 1959 we became the proud parents of our first child, a son we named Robert (Bob). A happy kid, full of energy, he grew up with an inquisitive mind for computers, writing and creating games. He had a heart for kids and loved cats (he still does).
Eighteen months later, our daughter, Elizabeth was born. Bright, cheerful and full of life, she filled our hearts with happy escapades as she followed her brother around and at times made life miserable because doing things right came easy for her while he struggled.
Five years later, our last son, Don, was born. He was special is so many ways. With a twinkle in his eye, he could make you smile and laugh. Born without the muscle capacity to hold up his head, he learned to walk, swing on ropes, play the trombone, be in cub scouts and act in drama classes with a brace designed especially for him. After back surgery and fusions, Don went on to become a conceptual artist in Santa Monica, CA. drawing, writing, and producing. Pancreatic cancer took his life in 2009.
In the game of sports, coaches call time outs to discuss new strategies.
In the game of life, we need time outs to step out of intense work cycles, give our mind a chance to calm down, and allow our bodies to release tension.
I work out of a home office and I periodically leave my computer and spend five to ten minutes doing some mindless chore to give my brain a break. Or to simply sit quietly and close my eyes and use the relaxation techniques I describe in my book on stress and my Relaxation CD. Mindless chores allow my body movement while my brain disconnects from planning, worrying or thinking.
Everybody needs time outs – your children as well as yourselves
This is not a boring 3-5 minutes sitting in a chair because of noncompliance. Time outs are a way to restore balance. It is unplugging – unhooking from all the electronic devices we use to divert ourselves and purposefully setting aside quiet time to allow our brains and bodies to relax.
In the busy world we live in, we expect kids to obey and do it right now! When they don’t, we often threaten, take away privileges or ground them.
When we are tired, it is easier to get angry and harsh in our responses. When expectations are unclear, there are more arguments.
Obedience versus responsibility
We want our kids to obey. We also want them to become responsible. Obedience without understanding both choices and consequences, however, does not help kids become responsible. While there will be times when obedience without question is necessary, especially when danger is a factor, those should be the exception.
When we feel good about ourselves, we are ready to tackle the world. Bring it on! Nothing is too tough. Whatever happens we believe in our ability to handle it.
Brennan Manning in his book, “Abba’s Child,” quotes David Seamon from his book, “Healing for Damaged Emotions”, who writes that many Christians are defeated by Satan’s most powerful psychological weapon.
“This weapon has the effectiveness of a deadly missile. Its name? Low self-esteem. Satan’s greatest psychological weapon is a gut level feeling of inferiority, inadequacy and low self-worth.”
He goes on to say that even when we believe and have had “wonderful spiritual experiences”, low self esteem can “shackle” us and keep us from living a full life that God has put in place.