By Dr. David Yates
The holidays are here and everyone is gearing up for the most stressful time of the year. Well … guess what? Years end, or anytime of the year for that matter, doesn’t have to be stressful. If you believe that most health problems are caused and/or aggravated by stress, you’re not alone. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has said that 86% of all disease processes are caused by our thoughts! Much of the stress we experience in life is due to our negative thoughts. With that said, I’d like to share with you the five most important elements I’ve found for reducing the effects of stress:
- Be Positive – You have complete control over your thoughts. No one can force you to have negative thoughts so choose right now to have positive ones. Surround yourself with positive influences. This may mean spending less time with a certain individual, refraining from watching the news, reading a certain publication or listening to a certain kind of music. Negativity is all around us, seek out the positive.
- Give Service – You can always find someone worse off than you, especially during the holidays. It could be as simple as visiting someone in a rest home or helping someone move into a new home. The key is that your intentions are pure. As you give voluntary service, you will forget about your problems as you experience the joy that comes from helping others resolve their problems.
- Laugh – I have four children under the age of twelve with another one on the way. This can and does cause stress in my life. However, children are a great source of comedy and a study out of LomaLinda University concluded that laughter lowers stress levels. It is also contagious, and a study out of Men’s Health concluded that toddler’s laugh about 400 times a day, so at worse, I’m hearing a lot of laughter! Note: You may prefer to invest in “Everybody Loves Raymond” DVD’s rather than have five children over an eleven year span!
- Exercise – It improves brainpower, lowers blood pressure, fights off colds and depression, manages arthritis, helps you loose weight, increases your energy levels, reduces your risk of diabetes, cancer and other diseases, slows down the aging process and cures insomnia by increasing your intake of oxygen and eliminating toxins through perspiration. No wonder it’s a great stress reliever!
- Chiropractic – In addition to feeling very relaxed after receiving an upper cervical correction, just knowing that my body is functioning the best that it can reduces my stress levels. Our bodies are self-healing miracles and upper cervical care provides the body with the mechanism it needs to maximize the healing process.
I could have mentioned many other strategies to reduce the effects of stress in our lives, but since it is a very personal state of being, you’ll need to experiment a little. I hope I’ve given you some useful parameters to work within in finding what works best for you. Happy Holidays!