What to do when you’re totally stressed out...
Hey Friend, here to let you know that even though you might be totally stressed out right now, there are still small, practical steps you can take to cope with that stress and stay healthy.
But first, why are we talking about stress?
The truth is its important to acknowledge stress so you can reduce it or cope with it a little better.
Think of it like aiming for a 1% improvement. You may not be able to change all the stressors in your life, but if you can manage the impact on your body 1% better, then you’ll stay healthier and more able to handle the stress.
Worthwhile, yes? Life on Purposey? Heck yes!
Trust Seek Pray Decide Act and reduce your stress
Truth: what are some of the effects of stress on your body?
Lots of us like to pretend that stress is no big deal, so we need to have a “Come to Jesus” moment and get real about how stress IS affecting our bodies.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. - John 10:10 NIV
- Stress increases cortisol production associated with weight gain (especially in the belly), an inability to lose weight or gain muscle and premature aging. Basically all the things we don't want to hear.
- Stress decreases nutrient absorption due to decreased enzymatic production from the stomach, pancreas and liver and decreased bile flow from the gall bladder. So stress shuts down your digestion.
- Stress increases nutrient excretion such as urinary loss of calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, chromium, selenium and microminerals. Stress makes the good stuff leave our bodies faster.
- Stress decreases gut flora populations by destroying healthy intestinal bacteria and can lead to immune problems, skin disorders, nutrient deficiencies, and digestive distress. Boo, this is no good!
- Stress increases salt retention which can lead to high blood pressure. No one wants to take medication for a condition we don't have to.
- Stress decreases the thyroid hormone which can negatively affect your metabolism. Again with the weight gain and feeling like crap.
- Stress decreases sex hormones which leads to loss of libido and low energy. Well this is just a lose, lose.
But we're not just here to talk about problems, let's dig into solutions!
How can I reduce or cope better with stress?
Remember, since we can’t always control the stress in our lives, the goal is to reduce our experience of stress by even 1%.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
Here’s how you can do that, starting NOW:
- Look at your morning routine, it sets the tone for your whole day. Where can you find 5 minutes to thank God for the day, the work he will do in you and through you?
- Look at your calendar for the next 7 days. What’s one activity you’ve committed to that you can cancel?
- Look at your to-do list. What’s one item you can delegate to someone else in the next 24 hours?
- Consider your schedule today. Where can you fit in 20 minutes for yourself —where you’re not taking care of anyone else or being “productive”—so you can just relax and play and do something mindless? Where can you fit in dancing in the kitchen, laughing full belly laughs or just meditating on how grateful you are to belong to a loving God?
- Look at your calendar for tomorrow. Where can you fit in a 10-minute walk or Frisbee toss in your backyard? The fresh air and movement will help you cope waaay better with stress.
- Before your next meal, try the “5-5-7” breath. Inhale for a count of 5, hold your breath for a count of 5, then exhale for a count of 7. Repeat at least 3 times. This gives your body a chance to relax before your meal, which will increase your digestive capacity and help your body pull more nutrients from the food you’re eating. See video♥
What do I do now?
Recognizing stress is an important first step, reducing it however we can, is next. We'll do our part and keep bring you tips and tools to live your best life Body, Mind and Soul. God has an amazing plan for you and He has created you to thrive not barely survive. You do your part and Trust Seek Pray Decide Act and reduce your stress♥
Mindi & Irina
Life on Purpose Coaches
Mindi Huebner is Co-Founder of Pure Grace, a Certified Health Coach, a work in progress, and a beloved child of God. Mindi is scandalously obsessed with leaving people and things better than she found them. If you think LOVE is always the answer, join her as she writes about her road trips with God at Back Row Faith - The Pure Grace Blog. If you don’t think love is always the answer, join her anyway. Go.Be.Love