You are inundated with long lists touting the things you should do to reduce your stress levels. These lists are not revealing new secrets. Well, I’m throwing down the gauntlet- it’s time for action. Stress is linked to everything that kills us. Two out of every three doctor visits are stress related. You don’t need a degree from Yale to know that stress is a reality for any grown-up with a pulse.
Stop being overwhelmed with the long lists of things to change. I am confident that if you tackle these two your life will definitely change. Drum roll please…
1. Get ENOUGH sleep.
2. Exercise REGULARLY. (Thanks for convincing me on this, Eliz!)
In order for you to see any improvements in your stress levels you have to be completely truthful with yourself in regards to how much sleep you really need and about the choices you are making instead of exercise. So, although it seems easy, it is going to take some good old fashion honesty. Being honest with yourself is about as easy as an elephant riding a bicycle, but if you can’t be honest with the person in the mirror then what’s the point?
“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Sleep is underrated, which is why most people brag about not getting enough. For those of you that need some convincing, here it is. Sleep is a period of restoration and repair for your body, mind, and spirit. Do not overlook that it’s actually a physical process. Healing is happening on a deep cellular level, and it’s all tied into your immune system. It increases memory, concentration and patience. Again and again I hear people proudly and naively claiming that they “only need 5-6 hrs. of sleep.” It’s like a fifth grader trying to convince his mom that he “only needs to go to school for two hours a day.” As if he knows what’s best for him. As if we know what’s best for our complex inner workings. It’s time you looked in the mirror and honesty answered the question, “Am I getting ENOUGH sleep?”
You know the excuses that accompany the non-active lifestyles…
There’s just no time. I’m so busy. I’d have to get up at like 4AM to squeeze it in.
I don’t have the right exercise equipment.
I can’t afford a gym membership.
I have a bad knee.
STOP with the excuses. They are lame. You don’t have to become the 2008 Body Builder Champion. We’re talking about increasing your heart rate for twenty minutes a day. It doesn’t matter how. Many people spend twenty minutes at the water cooler everyday. You can’t afford NOT to find that extra twenty minutes a day. How many minutes are you watching TV each day? If you don’t have any equipment, you can go for a walk/jog. If you have a bad knee, sit in a chair and get your upper body moving. There are a plethora of exercise resources for those in confined to a chair. Start here.
If you persist with the excuses your body will continue to hold onto toxins (poisons) and prevent the release of endorphins- those magical chemicals that keep you smiling and breathing deep, keeping Adultitis at bay. Ironically exercise helps you sleep better. There are lists and lists of diseases that are prevented through regular exercise. I use my daily walks as a time for prayer and meditation, restoring my spirit as well. You could listen to books during your workout, making it a time of self-development and education. Heck, you could even learn a new language. Hace este sano bueno, amigo?
One of the most underestimated benefits of these two things is your increased self-esteem. When you decrease those circles under the eyes, get rid of the frazzled mindset and chunky midsection, it’s easier to smile at that person in the mirror and it motivates you to be honest with yourself about the other (important) things on the list. Eventually you’ll feel motivated to challenge yourself with the other things- eating healthier, creating regular time for meditation and prayer, investing in a hobby, drinking enough water, giving of yourself by volunteering, becoming a livelong learner, etc.
Next time you complain about being tired, feel moody and stressed or are lacking energy, it’s time to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself.
Michael Jackson’s 1988 hit “Man in the Mirror” summarizes it perfectly.
I’m Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I’m Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change
[tags]honesty, exercise, sleep, Eliz Greene, Adultitis[/tags]