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You need to stress less!

HGBM strongly advocates for self-care. We're all under so much stress these days that it is hard to imagine ever having the time or energy to do the things God put us here to do. Within our three pillars of Healing from Trauma, Using Your Gifts, and Growing Your Faith, we love to share tips and advice about things like learning how to de-stress. This week's feature is all about being able to Stress Less! Be sure to follow us for regular updates to this week's blog feature. Today, our focus is on how stress impacts the body, mind, and spirit. Read more below:

Are you feeling stressed? We’d be surprised if you weren’t. Between the growing demands of our jobs, raising a family while working full-time, and the increasing need to stay connected all day every day, most of us feel stressed out more often than we like to admit. Add that to a chronic lack of sleep and exercise and you have a recipe for disaster. Stress kills and that’s no joke. To live our best lives, we absolutely must develop a solid understanding of stress and how to combat it. Let’s look at some of the worst negative side effects of stress and what you can do to stress less and relax more.

Stress causes your blood pressure to rise. You’ve experienced this when you found yourself hot and with a raging headache when you were in a particularly stressful situation. Feeling that way from time to time is no big deal. The real danger is in the lower-level stress we all feel on a daily basis. It can lead to hypertension and a higher risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke.

Next, let’s look at sleep. When you’re stressed, you don’t sleep well. You may even find it hard to sleep at all. Insomnia is a common side effect of living a stress-full life. It doesn’t take long before you start to feel the negative side effects of not getting quality sleep. You feel drained, unfocused, and things spiral downward from there quickly. Your body can’t function well and recover without at least a few good hours of sleep per night. For optimal health, destress and shoot for at least six to eight hours.

Since stress is so hard on the body and mind, what can you do to reduce it? Quite a bit actually. The most obvious solution is to go to the source of the stress and cut it out of your life. Obviously, that isn’t very practical, or desirable when you’re having a few rough weeks at the job you rely on, or your kids are driving you nuts. Instead, try things to actively relax and destress when and where you can to counterbalance the unavoidable. Here are some ideas:

  • Go for a walk outside.

  • Hit the gym for some exercise.

  • Pray/Meditate.

  • Learn some breathing exercises to help calm yourself down whenever you feel particularly stressed.

  • Get plenty of quality sleep.

  • Eat a healthy diet and cut down on sugar and caffeine.

  • Read a good book or listen to soothing music.

We’ll share more about how you can stress less and love life in this week's blog posts. Being aware of the stress and how it is affecting you is a great first step. Now take a deep breath and go for a stroll around the block. You'll feel better in no time!

God bless!

Here are a few of our awesome titles that you can pick up in the HGBM Shop! Use the code STRESSLESS for 15% off all purchases this week!

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