Thursday, 23 September 2021

T To Your Health

Get Off the Gerbil Wheel

De-stress Yourself

Are you in control of your life or is your life controlling you? Perhaps you own too many “toys” that are consuming your time and energy, not to men­tion your finances. Find it hard to get to sleep after the evening news? Or maybe your job is causing you stress and keeping you from your friends, your family, and the things you enjoy. Sometimes even the people around us can be a drain on our time and energy, especially our emotional energy. Let’s look at some major areas that could be causing you difficulty and make some simple suggestions that might help you reduce the stress you feel from them:

Stuff. Most of us own too many things. There’s a grassroots movement called the “100 things challenge,” where people have purposed to pare down their possessions to 100 things.4 Impossible, you say? Perhaps. Maybe all you really want is to rid your kitchen counter of clutter. However, like those who are taking the chal­lenge, start by making a list of what is absolutely necessary to your daily survival (clothes, kitchen items, furniture, etc.) and what you really could live without (clothes that no longer fit or are out of style, kitchen items that are broken or you don’t use, furniture that is filling up your house and really isn’t necessary) and then have a garage sale. Better yet, get your neighbors in­volved in the challenge and have a neighborhood garage sale. Use the proceeds to support a good cause. Learn to live the four R’s— reduce, reuse, recycle, repair.

Electronics. Set boundaries on your electronics. Yes, you can actually turn off your cell phone at a reasonable hour and shut off your Internet and not check your e-mails after a certain time or even all weekend. “Researchers at Stanford University have found that the light from your computer monitor right before bed resets your whole wake/sleep cycle and can postpone the onset of necessary sleep by three hours. Constant cell phone use can keep you in an artificial sense of urgency, never allowing stress hormones and adrenaline to return to normal levels.”5 The TV also fits into this category. With all the extra time you will have once you have these gadgets under control, you could play a game with your children or spouse or go take a walk. You’ll be happier and healthier if you do.

Job. While not many of us have the luxury of quitting our jobs, there are ways to take control over the time you spend working. According to a report quoted in Reader’s Digest, “More than half of all employees take work home, 69 percent check their work e-mail from home, 59 per­cent check voice mail after hours, 30 percent get work-related faxes, and 29 percent keep their cell phones on day and night. Forty-six percent feel this work-related intrusion is a stressor, and 44 percent report ‘negative spill-over’ onto their families.”7 If these statistics describe you, it’s time to set boundaries and keep a balanced perspective on your job. Leave it at the ap­pointed time, don’t let work carry over into the weekend, and spend the extra time with those you love, getting some exercise and doing something enjoyable and fun.

People. Yes, people can cause stress, especially those who are toxic or negative. Some people you may not be able to com­pletely avoid, but you can limit your time with them and set boundaries on your emotions. “My mother is probably one of the most toxic people I know,” said Jane. “After years of dealing with her anger, negativity, and not speaking to me for months over some perceived slight, I finally got up the nerve to tell her that I would no longer allow her to affect me and my family with her negativity and crazy making. Although I still see her, when she starts in on me, I tell her to stop or I will leave.”

Reducing the stress of your life can be a difficult task, but you can do it . . . one stressor at a time. Once you have the momentum, you’ll find yourself tackling areas you previously thought were impossible to change.

This article is adapted from 52 Ways to Feel Great Today, by David B. Biebel, D.Min., James E. Dill, M.D., and Bobbie Dill, R.N. (Orlando, FL: Florida Hospital Publishing, 2012). Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Columnist: Dr. David B. Biebel

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Dr. Biebel has authored or co-authored twenty books, including one bestseller: If God Is So Good, Why Do I Hurt So Bad? and the Gold Medallion winner, New Light on Depression. His recent releases include Making God Visible and Away in a Manger: The Christmas Story from a Nativity Scene Lamb's Point of View.

His goal is to help people attain and retain optimal physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational health (personal wholeness) so they can love the Lord with their whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and their neighbors as themselves. He founded Healthy Life Press ( to help new authors with something to contribute in this arena to get their works into print.

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        To Purchase these or any other of Dr. Biebel's titles click HERE


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