How to Overcome Stress

stressed black woman

Did you know 43 percent of adults suffer from adverse health effects caused by stress? WebMD estimates that 75 percent to 95 percent of all doctors’ visits are stress related.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has even declared stress a hazard of the workplace, costing American industry more than $300 billion annually. Stress can play a role in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression and anxiety.

To be healthy, you need to be happy—not stressed. Here are my tips for preventing and managing stress, as well as the anxiety, depression and disease it causes.

1. Trust. Much of your stress stems from worry and fear. During times of stress, as well as other times, remind yourself that all is well. Jesus had much to say about trusting God to take care of you. Again and again, He tells us not to be afraid. Let go of your need to understand and control everything. Yes, bad things happen, but learn to trust that God is in control and only allows them for ultimate good. Say to yourself several times per day, “All is well, and all will be well.” Your body’s cells will listen to what your ears hear.

2. Look at the big picture. Ask yourself, “Will I be worrying about this on my deathbed?” In other words, most of the things we worry about today are not important in the big picture. During times of stress, little things seem much bigger than they really are. Mentally walk away from them as you remind yourself of what really matters over the long term—for example, happy moments with friends and family.

3. Practice the 3-3-3 plan. Breathing is perhaps the simplest and most natural thing you can do to relax. During periods of stress, practice my 3-3-3 plan. Stop what you’re doing every 3 hours (9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm and 9pm). For 3 minutes close your eyes and take 3 deep, slow breaths. Focus on your breathing and nothing else. Your mind, body and spirit will immediately respond.

4. Get physical. Take a 20-minute walk; finish a project around the house; stretch for 10 minutes—just get physical. Only 20 percent of US adults meet recommended aerobic and muscle strengthening guidelines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among numerous other health benefits, physical exercise releases various hormones that lessen stress and create feelings of well-being.

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Source: Charisma | DON COLBERT, M.D.

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