Written by Mindy, Contributing Writer
We live in a fast-paced society where economic troubles and health problems seem to be everywhere we turn. It's no surprise that stress is such a close companion to so many people.
While we are talking about Spring Cleaning the Toxins here at Keeper of the Home, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about getting a toxin out of our lives that most people don't see as a toxin - stress.
Stress goes beyond emotions. Stress is a real, physical reaction in our bodies. It is where emotional meets physical.
Toxins Caused by Stress
When we worry and stress over things and situations, our physical bodies feel it in a way that most people don't realize. It produces "pollutants" or "stress toxins". Over time, our bodies can get clogged up with these toxins which leave us vulnerable to all kinds of health problems including high blood pressure, ulcers, heart attack and diabetes.
Stress can even kill the good bacteria that lives in our gut. So you might want to think twice next time you start to worry about your gut health! That worrying can be very counter-productive!
There are many different things that can trigger stress. Different people have different stress triggers.
For me, I get easily stressed out when I have too much on my plate. It leads to anxiety and I can quickly get burned out.
Here are some of the more common things that cause stress in a lot of people:
- Taking on too much
- Perfectionism/People Pleasing
- Cluttered house/Cluttered life
Some of these things can be controlled and some of them can't. Once we learn what triggers we have control over and what ones we don't, we should work to eliminate those that we do have control over. And then learn how to manage the stress that is caused by the things we can't control.
Tips for Dealing with Stress
1. Get plenty of regular exercise
Being active and getting enough exercise is one of the best things we can do for our health and well-being. Not only does exercise keep us fit, but it also drains our body of stress toxins. When we don't exercise, these toxins will start to build up and cause stress-related illnesses.
This is something that I need to work on more. When I take the time to regularly exercise, I feel so much better. Exercise is a needed release for our physical bodies. God created our bodies to work hard and be active!
2. Take time to relax
Breathe in. Breathe out. Slow down.
Sometimes our fast paced lifestyles can put stress on us that we don't even realize. Taking time to relax and just enjoy life can help us avoid that type stress that so many of us are just used to.
3. Change your perception
Fairly minor things sometimes put a lot of unnecessary stress on our bodies.
Does running late stress you out? What about your schedule not going exactly as planned? (Guilty!) A quick attitude change in these situations can help us eliminate this unnecessary stress in our lives.
4. Ask for help
You are not superwoman and you don't have to try to be either. There is no shame in asking others around you for help.
I have recently had to ask my husband for some temporary help with things that are normally my responsibility around the house. I have been working on a new graphic design business that I am launching, and if I had not had his help I would have been stretched to my absolute limit and even beyond. He was more than happy to help me however, and I was able to get my business up and running without getting too stressed out about it.
5. Let it all out
Pent up feelings are not healthy - emotionally or physically. If you are having a bad day, feel overwhelmed, and just want to cry, then just let it all out! Have a good cry, and give those stress toxins a natural form of release.
6. Give it over to the Lord
This can be the hard one, but I also believe that it is the most important one.
When life gets tough, it can be hard to trust that God is in control. But He is! No matter what situation you are facing, He is with you and He is working all things together for your good. He is making something beautiful out of your life.
Sometimes just praying about something can do amazing things for reducing stress levels. When you trust that it is in God's hands, you realize that no amount of worrying can solve your problem.
I often remind myself of a quote that I learned from a friend of mine.
"Worry is temporary Atheism."
Wow, that's kind of hard to admit, but how true it is.
Moral of the Story
It can be so easy to get stressed out over what toxins are in our food and our environment. These are legitimate concerns, and I think that everyone should do their best when it comes to avoiding toxins and chemicals. However, when we stress and worry over things like this, we are actually filling our bodies with more toxins!
When it comes to living a natural lifestyle and trying to eat a healthy, whole-foods diet, just do the best that you can. If you can't afford to eat 100% organic, grass-fed, local foods, DON'T STRESS ABOUT IT! The stress will put more toxins in your body than the non-organic food that you are eating. As my good friend Stacy told me the other day, "Worry will kill you before food will."
Have you been...
- Feeling burned out lately? Don't stress! Give yourself grace!
- Faced with a big decision to make? Pray about it and trust God to help you make the right choice.
- Trying to be superwoman? Let go of the pressure and anxiety that comes with that mindset.
- Waiting to hear back about a diagnosis? Put it in God's hands!
- On a journey of uncertainty? Pray for God's peace to fill you and take away the stress.