Stress, Your Health, and How to Deal

Whew, what a week! A stressful week. Physically, emotionally, and financially. Let me give you an idea:

- Meghan and I found out two family members are dealing with severe health problems.

- We are close to closing on our first house; and everything that goes along with that.

- Supervised a soccer game in which a boy broke his arm and was rushed to the hospital.

- Hit the divider while pulling into the parking garage.
Car if fine...only my pride is injured

- Feeling for and being with friends going through particularly tough times in their lives.

- To top it off I jammed my finger playing Ultimate Frisbee!!...I have recovered...

Stress leads to changes in our behavior. We get frustrated, weak, and lose focus of our goals. When we are stressed we sleep less and eat irregularly. 

Who hasn't tried to dominate an entire pizza when stressed?

Some of us forego the food and reach for a TALL drink!

Stress has the power to negatively impact the most important areas of our lives. Our families, marriages, jobs, and health. Reminding ourselves that we have dealt with and overcome stress before is important. 

"Adopting the right attitude can covert a negative stress into a positive one." - Hans Selye

The following coping strategies are great for your health and especially important when dealing with stress. They make you feel better, stronger, and enable you to better handle stress in the future. Here are 3 positive ways to handle stress.

1. Give it to God

This is first and foremost! God loves us and does not give us more than we can handle. Philippians 4:13- I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. Give your worries up to God and trust that he knows what is best for you and your life.

2. Quality Time- 
Sometimes you just need someone to talk to.
This, after prayer, changes everything. You can talk and unload whatever is swirling around your brain. I was so glad when I was able to sit with Meghan. We talked everything out and were able to strengthen and encourage each other. Quality time brings people closer together in situations that have the potential to drive people apart. 

3. Exercise

Running. This is my stress relieving exercise. Once everything calmed down after the broken arm incident I said, "Time to go relieve some stress",(corny, but true) and headed out for a run. Exercise releases endorphins which makes you feel better, improves your mood, and lowers your anxiety. Energy, mood, and anxiety are three negative attributes of stress and exercise knocks them out. It also gives you something to do instead of sitting, moping, or eating. You can run, walk, stretch, lift, or swim your way past stress. 

Stress comes with particularly difficult times on our lives. It is important to remain intentional, keep things in perspective, and not sweat the small stuff (just sweat during exercise).

What other coping strategies do you find beneficial?

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Pictures by Jon Kidwell & Meghan Kidwell

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