When you’re already overwhelmed and life throughs curve balls at you it creates even more stress. How do you handle the extra stress? Do you feel as though you can? Instead of trying to avoid stress let’s realize that stress is a fact of life nowadays and it is essential to learn healthy coping techniques for stress. If you don’t, stress will affect your sleep, immune system, emotions, even your skin. It speeds up your aging process creating wrinkles before your time and over time if not dealt with can lead to disease. For example how many of you walk around feeling less vital than you did in the past and believe that it is just part of growing older? Though I do believe that you change with age, I do not agree with the notion that aging equates to not being able to live a full life. I do, however, feel that as you age if you do not release your stress it will build in your body and decrease your vitality.
So how do you cope with stress? The ancient Chinese knew the importance of health and based an entire system of health on prevention. The Chinese prevented illness by developing techniques to rid the body of stress. Now of course they didn’t have to contend with the likes of what you have today but stress still manifests much the same way as it did centuries ago. In subtle ways stress builds up as minor nuances, such as, you may not sleep as well, you may begin to experience allergies, or your digestion may change. Over time one or several of these issues become chronic. You begin your day with less energy and find yourself dragging by night. Now I know many of you have a job, your spouse and children or aging parents to take care for, and the last thing you need is another responsibility. Have you ever considered taking care of yourself as a way of life?
The ancient Chinese advocated that when you take care of your health you decreased your chances of becoming ill and if you were to become ill speed up your recovery. The whole philosophy of Chinese Medicine is based on preventative measures. This concept is gaining more acceptance in the West as more people see that if you nurture your health it rewards you with fewer illnesses and faster recovery times if you do happen to become ill. Today we don’t have time for illness or even chronic nuances such as allergies. So we seek alternatives to create lasting harmony.
It doesn’t take much time. Think of it this way, if you spent ten minutes a day sitting in quiet contemplation and one hour a month in an acupuncture treatment or a massage, you would feel better. Even a 15 minute chiropractic adjustment or a weekly yoga or pilates class would help release stress from your body. In fact, I bet most of you watch more TV in a month than you spend caring for your health and the TV really doesn’t recharge you in the way preventative therapies do. Many times, if you do not have the energy to give, you feel drained. Giving then becomes a chore which leads you to play the role of martyr. When you care for yourself you naturally feel inclined to give to others because you have recharged your energy reserves and have energy to give.
I really don’t believe you are here to suffer. You have the opportunity to accomplish many things. So in the spirit of giving remember to include yourself throughout the year. So you will enjoy many more healthy years to come.
By, Andrea Hake