Stress. If your shoulders just raised up a bit or you felt your breath quicken, now is a great time to enlist your most effective stress-relieving exercises. Breathe deeply, stretch it out… and embrace some practical stress relievers from some of our team members who have experience in this area and volunteer for our Life.Work.Care. team. We all deal with stress at some point in our lives, so we might as well shed some light on the subject – it is Stress Awareness Month, after all!
Inhale. Exhale. Read on.
Tina Parks, Communications & Training Team Leader
I have a few strategies I turn to when I start to feel the burden of stress. The wisdom of the Serenity Prayer stuck with me since the first time I read it hanging on my grandmother’s wall. When I start to feel stressed, I ask myself, “Can I change the outcome of this situation?” If the answer is no, I try to let it go.
I’ve also found meditation and prayer to be a huge stress reliever. In just a couple of minutes, I can calm my mind and think more clearly. Even taking the time for a few deep breaths has a positive impact.
Another key to handling stress is remembering no one is perfect. The burden of trying to be the perfect partner, friend, team member, or parent is exhausting. Accepting that perfection is impossible is freeing.
Finally, regularly expressing gratitude alleviates my stress. When my boyfriend and I take the time to tell each other what we are thankful for at the end of a hard day, it puts things in perspective and lets us see life for the beautiful gift it is.
Karen Brown, Product Manager
Exercise has always helped me deal with stress. The more stressed I am, the more I pound the pavement! When I first started running, I had no idea of the research that supports why we feel better after a good workout but now I do. Our bodies release endorphins, which are the feel-good neurotransmitters, and the more we experience the high these endorphins bring, the more likely we are to continue to do it! Take a friend (human or furry) for a walk this weekend and give it a try because it has really helps me deal with life a little better.
Back in the fall I had an injury that sidelined me for months so I couldn’t use my normal method of stress release. Instead I began to memorize Bible verses. I admire my friends who, at the drop of a hat, can quote a Bible verse for any and all situations, and I deeply felt I needed to incorporate memorizing verses into my life. Now I have a goal of memorizing three verses a week and I am finding these verses are coming to mind when I’m faced with stressful situations.
One of my favorites is 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God did not give us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” This verse assures me of what God wants for us, so everything else becomes small and insignificant in comparison. If we keep our eyes trained on Him, we can overcome stress and live the life of joy He wants for us.
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