My eye was twitching, my shoulders were so tight I thought they were attached to my ears and my head was throbbing. I was stressed, but I just kept plowing through what needed to be done, because it needed to get done. Sound familiar?
Stress is something we all deal with every day. There’s good stress that gets us motivated and excited like an upcoming event and there’s bad stress that can lead to numerous physical ailments. Medical issues caused or induced by stress include high blood pressure, ulcers, migraines, pneumonia and yes, memory loss. All of which can lead to even worse diseases if not controlled.
Why do we subject ourselves to so much stress and how do we prevent or relieve it? Everyday stress comes because it’s difficult to function in today’s world unless we are multitasking or saying yes to every opportunity. But those opportunities and the multitasking needed to get them all done can impact our health, relationships and mental acumen.
We say yes and then attempt to alleviate the additional stress by adding some relaxing things to hopefully hold the stress in check. But all that does is add one more thing to our to-do lists causing even more stress! Sooner or later the eye twitch starts up again.
Stress is as bad for our brains as it is for our bodies. Many of my friends and others my age (40’s and over) ask me why they can’t remember anything. I tell them they are doing too much and they laugh. But it’s true. I do the same. When I forget something, it’s typically because I am doing too much to remember the permission slips, let alone that person’s name from 15 years ago that I just saw in the store.
Doctors tell their patients, I tell my clients and we all know we need to relax. Some relax with exercise, listening to music, lighting a scented candle, prayer or reading a great book. If you are doing these consistently-kudos to you. Your brain and body will thank you. The items just listed as relaxation techniques are also great for your brain. Each of them in their own way stimulates a different part of your brain. You are not only relaxing; you are exercising your brain.
This weekend, find time to relax. Observe Sabbath rest as God did and has commanded us to do. You will not only lower your stress which is awful for your body and brain, you will be stimulating your brain in a new, wonderful way. Focus your attention on God, your family and off your to-do list. Find a few moments every day to do this and your mind and body will thank you, not twitch or throb.