One of our greatest enemies in 2021 is stress.
Stress is a thief. Anxiety steals our peace, robs our creativity and holds up our progress.
For maximum effectiveness, we must learn how to keep our anxiety at minimum levels.
We live at a time where stress and worry are at an all-time high. Many Americans are riding the waves of emotional change. We are suffering from depression and loneliness.
We can hack our way out of this. Here are some healthy suggestions.
Prayer builds our faith, and faith drives out worry and fear. Prayer calms our fears and releases anxiety. Praying to our Creator calms our nerves and builds our trust.
"Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad" (Prov.12:25, NKJV).
Prayer acknowledges that God is able.
"Therefore, I say to you, "whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them" (Mark 11:24).
I don't know the science behind cooking and stress, but I know it helps. I enjoy cooking. I am sure it is connected with my love language—acts of service.
The activity of cooking helps us forget, at least for a little while, about the less pleasant aspects of life.
Research shows that cooking makes people happy. The creative part of cooking a new recipe and the act of cooking take my mind off of stressful things.
According to a study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, people feel happier after practicing "everyday creative acts," like cooking.
Psychiatrist Carole Lieberman says cooking makes people feel good because it's a way for them to nurture others.
Just try cooking for a stress hack. It works.
Coffee is my drink of choice. Great coffee makes for a great life. I despise and refuse to drink a bad cup of coffee.
Coffee turns a mediocre experience into a great one. Drinking a delicious cup of coffee is a stress buster—and even more so when mixed with morning meditation or reading the Bible.
But watch out for other side—caffeine can add to stress.
Pay attention to how you use caffeine and how it affects you.
Reading a great book with a grade 10 cup of coffee is relaxing and comforting. A plush chair and a great book are not a welcoming place for stress and worry. It is extremely useful for relieving stress.
Just do it. Find something you need to read or love to read and brew a cup of coffee and froth some whipping cream. Delicious and stress-busting for sure.
Exercise is a release for those who are stressed or tense. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins—feel-good hormones that naturally boost your mood.
Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall tension levels, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
Discover what type of exercise works best for you and when. For me, vigorous aerobic exercise is best.
"For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come" (1 Tim. 4:8).
According to some studies, regular exercise is just as effective as medication. Some people experience reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression.
For you worry-warts, give exercise a chance. Daily exercise is a great tip to reduce stress decrease worry.
There is no reason to shy away from the truth that great sex can alleviate great stress.
"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—For your love is better than wine" (Song 1:2).
Suggesting sex for stress release is a little touchy to some. But sex is a powerful stress buster—especially for married men. Let's make sure we stay within the bounds of biblical behavior.
Just like any physical activity, healthy sex is good for your heart. A study published in January 2015 in the American Journal of Cardiology found that men who had sex twice weekly or more had less risk of cardiovascular diseases, like stroke or heart attack than those who had sex once a month or less.
A healthy sex life is one of the great joys of life. Cuddling with someone you love reduces stress levels and releases beneficial endorphins.
For the married couples, I am sure you will enjoy giving it a try.
Order creates order. Order is the arrangement of things.
Disorder creates stress and anxiety.
In a survey conducted by the National Association for Professional Organizers in 2015, it found that over a third of readers were overwhelmed by their clutter.
We do not realize the negative effects of clutter in our lives and stress levels.
It is proven that messy homes leave us feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Yet, organization is rarely recognized as an effective stress reliever.
One person said, "Clutter distracts you, competes for your attention, and can visually overstimulate you. All of which makes it hard to focus and can interfere with your productivity. Not to mention, when you have too much stuff to take care of, it can feel like you're fighting a losing battle with a never-ending to-do list."
Stress and worry try to cripple us in our everyday lives, but we can fight back and seek solutions that are practical and effective against stress and worry.
I suggest that you add one step per day for the next seven days. The coming weeks will be better and better.
Thomas McDaniels is a pastor and writer. He has written for churchleaders.com and currently is a contributing writer for Fox News. He is also the founder of LifeBridge.tv and the Longview Dream Center in Longview, Texas.
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