Did you know that stress can have an adverse effect on your health? Studies have shown that stress can lead to a variety of health conditions. Stress affects our posture which can cause pressure on our internal organs. It can also cause dry mouth which promotes bacteria growth in the mouth. When the bacteria is allowed to thrive, it can not only result in tooth decay and gum disease, but it can also get absorbed into our bloodstream and wreak havoc on our immune system's ability to fight off diseases and infections.
Reducing stress is a key component to living a healthier life. Usually the effect of stress, however, isn't something people realize until they're faced with a life-changing event like a heart attack or cancer. It isn't until then, when they look back on their lives, that they consider the things that really matter and start to make changes for their lives.
We all say, "we're going to die anyway so we might as well enjoy it," but then what happens when we live a lot longer than we expected? We're in pain every single day from joint pain and muscle aches. Maybe we find it painful to eat because our teeth ache. All of these things are considered normal signs of aging, but what people don't realize is that they have a fighting chance at preventing a lot of these signs simply by taking a few steps toward improving health.
Changing our diet for better health is a huge, daunting step but one great place to start is simply finding ways to reduce stress. So, what's one way we can improve our health and reduce the stress in our lives?
Go with the flow. OK, how do we do that? Here are some ideas.
It's Out of Our Control
Let's face it - somethings are just not in our control. If we can learn to accept that, we can learn to go with the flow and keep stress away. We can't control someone else's behavior, but we can control how we react to it. And while we can voice our opinions, not all decisions are up to us. If the boss wants a job done a certain way, even after we've offered a different solution, we can either do it the boss's way or find a different place to work.
Another way to go with the flow is to avoid getting stressed out about things that will work themselves out. The people from "Control" country (Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage reference) freak out when things don't go the way they planned. I should know; I'm one of them. I'm also from "Perfect" country. Not only do I want to control my life and everything I do, but I also want everything to be done perfectly. Imagine how much weight was on my shoulders, trying to be perfect and have everything under control. Talk about a stressful situation!
When we realize that we really do not have control, there's a huge weight that gets lifted off our shoulders. That doesn't mean we stop working toward our dreams and goals, but we leave the results in God's hands. Even when we're doing the best we can, things will happen the way they're meant to. Things don't have to be perfect. In other words, they will work themselves out.
Value in a Little Cushion
Have you ever had things fall apart right when you needed something done at the last minute? Like when you needed a document printed, but the computer or the printer or the printer's software refused to work? Or when you needed to turn in a term paper one afternoon but that same morning you lost everything you had written?
Allowing extra time for tasks will give you some cushion in case something goes wrong. You never know when something will come up. Set yourself up for success by planning ahead for a few inconveniences.
You should also add cushion to your schedule to allow for a little spontaneity. We live in a society where we thrive on busy schedules. But if you fill your schedule full with activities, you won't have time for those fun activities that come up. And then you'll feel stressed out because you're not able to do them or you're not able to do the things on your schedule. Having a goal and sticking to it does require some sacrifices with time and priorities, but it is important that you give yourself some breathing room for other things, too.
Adventures for the Taking
When things don't go as planned, we tend to get stressed out about it, right? Why didn't it work out? What's wrong with me? What could I have done differently? But sometimes when things don't go as planned, it can lead us to new adventures. Maybe the apartment you wanted to rent fell through or maybe the job you thought you were perfect for was given to someone else.
And sometimes when you think you have everything figured out but then you feel a push to move in a different direction, it can take you by surprise. But it's not always a bad thing. The important thing to remember is to not be afraid to take chances or do something that people will think is crazy. That's where all of the fun is.
Reducing stress is a must if we want better health, and learning to go with the flow is a great first step. Start today!