It's time to M.E.L.T
We can never avoid stress in life, but we can control how we respond to them. Many of us turn to food for comfort during stressful times. We feed our emotional bank account with sweets, multiple adult beverages, and other comfort foods. We fill our brains with things that drain us of all hope and joy. An unhealthy diet, compounded with unhealthy habits during stressful times, raises your cortisol levels. High cortisol levels can cause brain fog, adrenaline fatigue, rapid weight gain, and many other unwanted side effects. What can you do to help fight the urge of giving into those stressful times? Just M.E.L.T
Meditate-praying and breathing. As a Christ-follower, I firmly believe in the power of prayer. I can give countless stories of how prayer has changed my life and my outlook on a situation. Knowing I am not in control and that everything is going to work out for my good and His glory brings a peace that surpasses all of my understanding. If this is something you long for I am more than happy to talk with you about how you too can have a sense of everlasting peace.
You can also take time to clear your mind and practice breathing exercises to help reduce stress. Sit or stand with your elbows slightly back. This allows your chest to expand. Inhale deep through your nose. Hold your breath and count to 5. Release the air deep and slow through your nose until you feel the air you inhaled has been released. Repeat 5 times. You can do this exercise at home, work, the park or while sitting in traffic. Just breathe.
Exercise-get moving! Go for a walk. Lift some weights. Move your body! When you exercise your body creates endorphins. Endorphins also trigger positive feelings in our body. Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, ward of anxiety and depression, boost self-esteem and improve sleep. When I exercise regularly I notice my sleep patterns improve and my anxiety is not as high during stressful events. Sometimes I have to exercise twice a day so that I can ward off anxiety and/or battle through my emotions. You have to take care of you. You have one life. One body. Don't just survive life. Live it!
Laugh-what tickles your funny bone? Laugh once and awhile. Laugh at life. Laughter can be the best medicine. When you have a good laugh your heart rate and blood pressure temporarily rise. This helps oxygen surge through your bloodstream which will result in lower blood pressure. Isn't the human body amazing? Laughter can even reduce blood sugars, reduce pain and allow the toleration of discomfort. Laughter also creates a positive mood by releasing anxiety and allowing the feelings of happiness to take place. Bring humor into your conversations. Ask someone "What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?" Keep a list of jokes saved on your phone to bring laughter to someone else's day.
Think -overthinking can cause stress. Think positive. If you focus only on the negative, you will not be able to find the good. What you put in, you will get out. Fill your heart and mind with positive things. Listen to feel-good music. Read inspiring quotes. Focus on the good.
Have you ever been around someone that has a negative outlook on everything in life? No one enjoys that type of company. It's draining. We can all be that person if we aren't careful. Find the good and dwell on that. Having a hard time finding something positive to think about? Go serve somewhere! Serve at your local food bank, shelter, pet shelters, hospital, nursing home…the opportunities are endless. When we take our minds off of our problems/stresses of life and put our time and efforts on someone/something else, the easier it is to find the good in the day.
As you go into this new week, try to focus on one area of M.E.L.T as obstacles and hurtles are thrown your way. Remember, tomorrow is a new day. Keep your chin up and keep pushing forward.